A verbal form for rest often found in the New Testament is anapauo, “rest, relax, refresh.” It is used in one of Jesus’ most famous statements on rest, Matthew 11:28: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (NKJV). It can refer to physical rest (Matthew 26:45). In the final greetings to the Corinthians, Paul expresses his joy over the arrival of friends who refreshed his spirit (1 Corinthians 16:18).
Another verb used to indicate rest is hesychazo. It describes the Sabbath rest of the disciples as Jesus rested in the grave (Luke 23:56). But it’s also used to describe living a quiet life (1 Thessalonians 4:11) and can indicate that someone has no objections and, thus, keeps quiet (Acts 11:18).
When the Epistle to the Hebrews, in Hebrews 4:4, describes God’s creation rest on the seventh day, it uses the Greek verb katapauo, “cause to cease, bring to rest, rest,” echoing the use of the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament. Intriguingly, most of the uses of this verb in the New Testament occur in Hebrews 4.
Read Mark 6:30-32. Why did Jesus tell His disciples to come aside and rest, considering the many mission opportunities they currently had? Look at the larger context of Mark 6 as you think about this question.
“Come aside by yourselves … and rest a while” (Mark 6:31) is not framed as an invitation. It’s expressed in the form of an imperative, which is an order or a command. Jesus is concerned about His disciples and their physical and emotional well-being. They had just returned from an extensive mission trip on which Jesus had sent them two by two (Mark 6:7). Mark 6.30-31). Being overwhelmed and too busy in God’s business is a genuine challenge for the disciples, as well. Jesus reminds us that we need to guard our health and emotional well-being by planning in seasons of rest.
|What are ways of helping and relieving your local church pastor or elder or anyone you know who could be burned out from doing the Lord’s work? What could you do to express your appreciation and help this person find rest?|