Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
In his book, Gentle and Lowly, Dane Ortlund, writes, “When Jesus tells us what animates him most deeply, what is most true of him—when he exposes the innermost recesses of his being—what we find there is gentle and lowly.”* This is the heart of Jesus— he is gentle and lowly.
What does this mean? It means that Jesus will deal gently with you, like a mother with a newborn baby or like a boy with a baby puppy. There is nothing harsh about Jesus. He is meek, humble and gentle. He knows our deepest pain and longs to set us free from it. So he is tender with us.
Because He is both gentle and lowly, He is both the most understanding person in the universe and the most approachable person in the universe.
The most understanding person who has ever lived is Jesus because he is sympathetic and understanding in regard to our sin and failings. Hebrews 4:15-16 states, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Ortlund writes, “What elicits tenderness from Jesus is not the severity of the sin but whether the sinner comes to him.”** Come to Jesus. He will be gentle with you.
The most approachable man who has ever been is also Christ. Jesus being lowly simply means that he is accessible—he is approachable—unlike the Queen or King of England. Jesus does not require anything from us before we can come to him. All we have to do is open ourselves up to him and cry out for mercy. Later in the book of Hebrews, the Word states, “He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.” Jesus understands our weakness as he, himself, was tempted in every way just as you and I are. When we sin, we should bring our mess to Jesus. He will get down low with us, put his arm around us and restore us. He will be gentle and lowly in giving his yoke to you.
The Bible says Jesus is a ‘friend of sinners.’ As you read through the gospels, you will discover that the people who were drawn to Jesus were prostitutes, drunks, lepers, the demon possessed, the poor and the sick. The people who had their act together rarely had time for Jesus.
The reason Jesus left the glories of Heaven and came into our world was to rescue sinners like you and me.
Have you come to Jesus? Don’t let any sin keep you from coming to Jesus. Let his invitation to you sink in as you grasp the truth of his gentle and lowly heart: Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
*Dane Ortlund, Gentle and Lowly (Wheaton: Crossway, 2020)