Imagine, you’re homeless in the freezing cold. It’s just after dark when you come near this beautiful log cabin home, it’s nearly all windows and you see people inside, some laughing, some smiling, some obviously in heartfelt conversation. These are people who really care about one another.
Then the front door opens, and you’re invited in. Now you’re in this cozy living room, the fireplace crackles with warmth. Someone you don’t know embraces you and has you sit down next to the fire. They bring you a cup of hot cocoa. They say you can stay.
But you just have the nagging feeling that you don’t belong, that someone’s going to ask you to leave.
This is how I feel sometimes. I feel like I don’t belong in God's family and like someone’s gonna ask me to leave.
If you’re like me, let’s get some reassurance.
Jesus's words in Matthew 11: Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.
This is the invite into the cozy log cabin, into the family of God. And if you’re like me, you’re in. And there’s no need to feel like Jesus will ask us to leave.
We find this out right in the verses prior to this.
Jesus says: Father, thank you for hiding these things (that I’m the Messiah) from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike.
And he says: No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
Here's the point: Jesus is saying, Whoever can see that I’m the Messiah, can see because I’ve opened their eyes.
And that’s when Jesus then says: Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
So, our coming to Jesus to find rest is proof that Jesus has opened our eyes to see and savor who he is and what he has done.
And the fact that you’re in, means you’re in to stay.
Cause Jesus says in the gospel of John: All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.
At this point you may have a couple questions: "Does God choose me, or do I choose God?" Yes! This is a mystery, we cant' figure it out. I think if we could figure this out then God wouldn't really be that big.
We’re in God’s family because Jesus has done everything for us to get us in. And if he’s done all that to get us in. Why would he ever kick us out?
And if you're thinking that maybe these nagging feelings of not belonging in God's family mean that you never have been a part of it. Well that's easy. Just come.