For the sake of discussion and to develop a healthy Both/And understanding, I’d like to discuss which is more needful: Soul rest or Physical rest. It appears that Jesus offers both to us in the main text (below). Both words for “rest” in vv. 28 & 29 are the same Greek word, but the second adds: “for your souls.” One would understand that the first is physical rest. Jesus offers us physical rest. We no longer need to strive to earn His favor. By Grace through faith we already have it. So physical rest is promised.
But how important is it to have “soul rest” as well? Wouldn’t you agree that if there is turmoil in our soul, there are also physical consequences? Maybe grinding teeth, or a stiff neck or tightness in the shoulders. So no matter how much physical rest we may try to get, soul rest seems to be connected.
But do you suppose that if I am not getting physical rest, it also follows that I am not taking the time to get soul rest either? What a conundrum.
And on top of this, I know how to get physical rest rather easily: Stop. Stop doing what I do physical. Take a break. Sit down. Smell the roses….
How do you suppose I get soul rest to anchor my physical rest? How do I stop and focus my soul on Jesus, the Rest Giver? What suggestions do you have?
Main Text— Matthew 11:28–30 (NIV84)— 31 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Additional Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.—John 14:27 (NIV84)
Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.—Hebrews 4:11 (NIV84)
This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.”— (Jeremiah 6:16 (NIV84)
Lord Jesus Christ, be both my soul rest as I seek Your Face.