“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. 29 Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. 30 For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.” Matthew 11:28-30 The Passion Translation (TPT)
Jesus is speaking to religious Jewish people; people who are under the law, are trying to please God and be right with Him through their efforts in keeping the law. Trying to please God and be right with Him according to your efforts will only make you tired and burn you out. Relating to God based on your performance is like running on a treadmill: you work hard but go nowhere.
“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to Me…” Matthew 11:28 The Passion Translation
The law always demands and requires, yet Jesus (who is full of grace and truth) offers an invitation come to Him. If you’re weary and heavy burdened, you aren’t living out of your union with Jesus. When we recognize our union with Him and live out of that oneness, then we will be refreshed.
“…I am your Oasis.” Matthew 11:28 The Passion Translation
An Oasis is a fertile spot in a desert where water is found. The whole world is constantly seeking refreshing in entertainment, sport, exercise, food, vacations etc. and yet all these things can only offer momentary refreshment. Jesus is your Eternal Oasis – He is your refreshing! Legalism dehydrates you and will eventually kill you (2 Corinthians 3:6). Jesus refreshes and restores!
“Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. 29 Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please.” Matthew 11:28-29 The Passion Translation
Many people are getting burnt out trying to please God and be right with Him. They wrongly believe that pleasing God is an impossible task (even though it’s the foundation of their relationship with Him). I love that Jesus says that He is easy to please!
The more we try to please God through performance-based Christianity, the more stressed out, frustrated and mean we become, and the less we end up pleasing Him. All our best efforts are not good enough to make us right with God (Isaiah 64:6). Faith is what pleases Him – believing in Him and what He has done for us. When we’re putting faith in our efforts and performance it will only ever make us tired and weary, and we’ll always feel condemned (because we know we aren’t good enough) or full of pride (because we think we are good enough). We are made right with God by placing our trust in Jesus and His finished work. This is a place of perfect peace, rest and refreshing.