Matthew 11:16-30 – Come to Me and I Will Give You Rest


Matthew 11:16-30


After pronouncing woes upon those who do not repent and believe in the Son of Man, Jesus asserts his oneness with the Father, and in the Father’s name promises that all who come to him with their burdens will find in this gentle master rest for their souls.


Jesus’ pronouncement of woes upon those who do not respond to his “deeds of power” (11:20) is a reminder of both John’s and Jesus’ initial preaching and its call for repentance in light of the coming of the kingdom of heaven. Now in explicit language of revelation (11:25, 27; unique to Matthew in the Synoptic Gospels, but reminiscent of similar language in John), Jesus addresses the Father and announces that his ministry is a sign of his oneness with the Father and with the Father’s gracious will (11:26). That will is seen in the Father’s handing over all authority to the Son (see also 28:18-20).

And now in this revelatory passage we hear what the Son will do with that authority. In one of the most beautiful passages in the Gospels, Jesus claims his authority as God’s Messiah and promises, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (11:28-30). The promise is noteworthy in the words “all you” in the personal, passionate, and universally comforting appeal of this “I Am,” who is gentle and humble in heart.