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  • Writer's pictureShaun Nestor

The Heart of Jesus


Throughout the Gospels, Jesus teaches us many things. The Kingdom of Heaven, how to live our lives, money, sin, salvation. He teaches parables of banquets, prodigal sons, wheat, and treasure. His abilities as a preacher, a miracle worker, the Son of Man, and more are constantly on display throughout the Scriptures. But did you know that throughout the Gospels, there was one topic that Jesus is only recorded to have preached on once?

His heart. The very essence of who He is.


While His heart is on display throughout all of Scripture, it is in this one place that Jesus tells us specifically about the nature of His heart.


“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 ESV


“For I am gentle and lowly in heart.” Depending on the translation, you may read “gentle and lowly,” “gentle and humble,” “humble and gentle,” or “lowly and humble.” While the three tend to be used interchangeably, the original Greek uses the words gentle and humble.


In fact, the Greek word “praus” which is typically translated to gentle, is also used earlier in Matthew, as Jesus preaches the Beatitudes:

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5 ESV

Meek, gentle. Jesus isn’t aggressive or quick to violence. He is a calming presence. He welcomes people with open arms.


Then there is the second word, “tapeinos” which typically translates as humble. While the word humble typically means humility, the virtue, here it is used to describe humble circumstances.

Wait, humble circumstances? For God? Yes.


Jesus humbled himself, taking the form of a human, opening himself to all the temptations, trials, and tribulations of human flesh. That is why different translations use the word lowly instead of humble.

So “gentle and lowly in heart” means that Jesus’s heart is one of understanding. He came down to our level not to show that He could live the perfect life, but to show that He understands. He didn’t come to judge or punish us, but to show us true love and to bring us back to the Father’s arms.


This brings us to the rest of this passage. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest… you will find rest for your souls.”


We often think we have to come to Jesus with this perfect version of ourselves. We can’t show Him our burdens, our pains! Our iniquities will only separate us from God, so we might as well try to brush them under the rug and act like they don’t even exist.


But that sentiment is the exact opposite of what Jesus is teaching us here! He calls all who are heavy-ladened, all who labor and toil and struggle.


In coming down to Earth, Jesus felt every pressure and stress we experience today. Are you exhausted from work? Do you feel like you’re barely getting by? Did you just go through something incredibly traumatic or are fighting against a seemingly insurmountable challenge? If so, please stop what you are doing.


Pause, read this Scripture not simply as words on paper. Instead, read these words as if it is Jesus saying them to you here, right now, in your specific circumstance.


“Come to me, YOU who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”


Go to Jesus. Bring your stress. Bring your burden. Lay it all down at His feet. He is a loving and merciful God. Slow to anger and abounding in love. Not only does He understand our struggles, but He promises to never forsake us, and He can bring us through whatever life may bring.


Here is where I lay it down

Every burden, every crown

This is my surrender

This is my surrender

Here is where I lay it down

Every lie and every doubt

This is my surrender

Make Room - Elyssa Smith

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