Sermonette: Jesus Rested


August 2, 2021

I hope you all are having a restful month! As we come to the end of the month, I want to focus on one more subject before I turn it over to someone else. As people who love and follow God, the Bible tells us to try and be more like Jesus each day. (1 John 2:6) We can read the Gospels to see how Jesus lived. As we do this, we observe Jesus prioritized rest, even though he was literally saving the world (His to-do list was way more important than yours, sorry to break it to you). If Jesus, the Son of God, rested then why do we think we are the exception? Jesus was fully God and fully man and in his humanity he needed rest. This means in our humanity we also need rest. Let’s look at Jesus’ life and his example both from the Old and New Testament.

To find our first example of rest, we have to go back to the beginning of the Bible—to Genesis. In Genesis 1, God had just created the world in six days. Genesis 2 tells us about the seventh day:

“So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.” (Genesis 2:1-3 NLT)

If we look closer at the account of creation, we see the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—is present (Genesis 1:26), which means Jesus was part of creation. Even from the beginning Jesus prioritized rest and took a Sabbath. Now moving to the New Testament, we jump to the book of Mark. In Mark 4:35-39, we find Jesus asleep on a boat while a storm shakes and fills the boat he and the disciples were in. The disciples wake him and plead for help. Jesus gets up and rebukes the storm, leaving the disciples amazed. Though this seems like Jesus was asleep on the job, I believe Jesus had intentions with his actions. His actions challenged the disciples to increase their faith and Jesus also still prioritized rest, even when other things seemed more important. When it comes to rest, most times there are to-dos which appear to have priority or may feel like you should get done before you rest, but in order to be truly rested we must learn to work from a place of rest. In order to work from a place of rest, we must truly learn to rest with God and incorporate scheduled rest. If we don’t prioritize rest regularly we will never learn to do that.

So what’s the point?—take a break! Seek God and ask him to teach you how to rest (Matthew 11:28-30). Don’t do it because I told you, but because God instructs us to rest—both in his words but also through his actions. Go to bed early, go outside, do your favorite activity, be with your friends and family, spend time with God—whatever you do, rest! Our world bombards us with messages on how to keep going and to not stop, but the Bible instructs us to rest and be still. It’s never going to be perfect on this earth, but practical steps toward true rest is better than no rest at all. Prioritize rest and it will change your life for the better.


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