“Come unto Me all you that labor and are heavy-laden. . .”

Matthew 11:28c

His is for the down-and-outs, not the up-and-comings; the infamous, not the famous; the outcasts, not the “in group.”

Have you ever noticed how Christ’s values always seemed to be in contradiction of and opposition to those of the world? Were not His harshest words of condemnation reserved for the religious, not the reprobate (Mt. 21:31)?

It was not by accident; neither was/is it by coincidence that His Invitation in today’s Manna is for those who “labor and are heavy-laden.”

The Greek word “kopiao” is used here for “labor” and also means “to feel fatigue, toil, be wearied, pained, losing strength, etc.,” while “phortizo” is used for “heavy-laden” and basically means “to be over-burdened, weighed down, taxed beyond limit, etc.” And, we should not be surprised to learn this word was also used for “cargo of a ship.”

Even now, we can see those sailing ships in Jesus’ day sitting low in the water as the heavy cargo was loaded aboard. Such ships or “freighters” back then were few-and-far between; thus, they were loaded beyond their maximum capacity and there was no one to ensure such limits were enforced.

That’s why Jesus’ “List of Invitees” to His “Peace Party” and “Restful Resort” is so eye-catching. Normally, if you’re “somebody,” you want to invite other “somebodies”—i.e., the “rich-and-famous”. . .the “shakers-and-makers”. . .the decision-makers. . .the elite. . .the power-brokers, etc.

Yet, He called then (and now) those who are worn out, fed up, beat up, washed up, put down, trodden underfoot, etc., to “come unto Him.”

Why would He do such a thing?

Simply because He knew “those who are whole (healthy) need not a physician—but they who are sick” (Lk. 5:31). Or, another way to put it is, “Those who believe they’re okay. . .got it altogether. . .are on top of the world and got the tiger by the tail. . .don’t have any felt need of anything or anyone—except those who can help them get what they need to get ahead.”

That’s why He said “If you’ve done it to the least of these, My brothers, you’ve done it unto Me” (Mt. 25:40).

He wanted the convicted felon, who’s just got out of jail, can’t find a job and is shunned by family and friends to know he’s welcome at His House. He wanted the prostitute, who’s been so abused and misused—like the woman at the well and Mary Magdalene (Jn. 4:1-29; Lk. 7:36-50)—to know she, too, has a place at His Table (and in His heart). He wanted the single mom, who’s trying to raise her children on meager, minimum wages, to know she’s not alone in it all (Ps. 46:1; Heb. 13:5b).

Are you “weary in well-doing,” Pilgrim? Are you about ready to wave the white flag of surrender and say “What’s the use?” If so, this Manna’s for you. . .and you. . .and you. Come to Him. Just as you are. And, know He’ll say “Welcome. Sit down and rest a while.”

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated May 6, 2010

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