Rest in Its Branches

Author: Hannah Howe — Host: Emily TenterPosted on: November 30, 2021

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Rest in Its Branches

The sun descends on the horizon, and the thought comes: “Did I do a good enough job today”? Almost every night, I would evaluate this question. I realize now that this was kind of like asking myself: “Do I deserve to sleep?” Most days, my answer was no. And I would feel defeated, exhausted, and sad. Disappointed in myself. Desperate to try harder tomorrow. But then one day, this little parable caught my attention. Jesus is describing what the kingdom of heaven is like. As He’s been going around teaching and healing people in towns and villages near where He grew up, Jesus has been announcing “the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Matthew 10:7). This is one of the parables Jesus told: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It’s the smallest of all the seeds, but when grown, it’s taller than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the sky come and nest in its branches” (Matthew 13:31-32). This last phrase caught my attention. Some translations use the word rest instead of nEsther So this tree is a place where birds can rEsther I really like that. God is providing a place of rEsther And it’s a place we get to be part of. I get to rest, and I also get to invite others into this rEsther But how is this possible? Do we only get to rest once we’ve done enough? No. That would actually be the opposite of good news. The truth is: rest is a gift from God. We can’t earn rest—we could never do enough. Jesus didn’t say, “Once you’ve fulfilled all the Father’s commands, and done a lot of things to bring glory to Him, then you can rEsther ” Nope. Jesus definitely didn’t say that. He actually made it pretty clear that the only one who could possibly fulfill all God’s commands was Him (Matthew 5:17). Jesus did say, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rEsther Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Jesus is the One who offers rEsther He gives it freely to anyone who has put their trust in Him, believing that He died and rose back to life. His rest is always available to all His forgiven followers, including me. At the end of the day, I don’t need to ask myself: “Did I do enough?” Instead, I get to rest because Jesus has done enough, and I am His. • Hannah Howe • Do you ever feel like you don’t deserve rest? If rest is a gift from Jesus, what might change? “Come to me and I [Jesus] will give you rEsther ” Matthew 11:28 (CSB)


Read Verses:

Matthew 13:31-Matthew 13:32; Hebrews 4; Matthew 11:28