Topic: Calming Your Soul (September 26, 2016)
Read: Matthew 11:25–30
Bible in a Year: Isaiah 1–2; Galatians 5
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
While attending a concert, my mind detoured to a troublesome issue that insisted on my attention. Thankfully, the distraction was short-lived as the words of a beautiful hymn began to reach deep into my being. A men’s a capella group was singing “Be Still, My Soul.” Tears welled up as I listened to the words and contemplated the restful peace that only God can give:
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side! Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; leave to thy God to order and provide; in every change He faithful will remain.
When Jesus was denouncing the unrepentant towns where He had done most of His miracles (Matt. 11:20–24), He still had words of comfort for those who would come to Him. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened . . . . learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (vv. 28–29).
This statement is striking! Immediately following His strong words for those who were rejecting Him, Jesus extended an invitation to all to draw near to Him to find the peace we all yearn for. Jesus is the only one who can calm our restless, weary souls.
Prayer: I come to You now, Lord, in need of rest for my heart. Help me to trust You and be confident in Your love.
When we keep our minds on Jesus, He keeps our minds at peace.
Insight: Our passage today comes on the heels of Jesus denouncing the cities where most of His miracles were performed (Matt. 11:20–24). Bethsaida, one of the denounced cities, literally means “fisherman’s house.” It was a village on the north side of the Sea of Galilee and could have been the birthplace of three of the disciples: Andrew, Peter, and Philip.