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This is a Greek word I stumbled upon in the middle of sleepless night a while back. It is often translated as “come” or “come now.” One of the places it is used in the Bible is in Matthew 11 where it says:
“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
There it was right at the very beginning.
While I loved the concept of these verse, I wasn’t sure what it looked like practically. What did it mean to “come and rest” in the middle of pandemic, in the middle of some of the hardest most stressful days of my job, in the middle of exhaustion and loneliness?
As I researched more about this word, I discovered Jesus used this call quite often throughout His days on earth. In the verses above and in Mark 6 we see this as a call to come away and rest, but that’s not the only invitation to “come”.
In Matthew 4 and Mark 1, “duete” is translated “follow me” as Jesus call His disciples into ministry.
Matthew 25 documents the parable of the sheep and the goats. The goats are told to “depart from” him, sent away to eternal punishment. The sheep though? “duete” … come … inherit the Kingdom.
After the resurrection, the disciples are out on a boat fishing and they hear a voice call out, “duete”, “Come and have breakfast” and suddenly, maybe because of the repeated use of this word, they know it is the Lord.
How beautiful to see all the ways Jesus used this word. Jesus didn’t just call his disciples to the hard work before them of ministry. He also called them into rest, into meals, into His Kingdom. Each aspect of those callings is important as the other. Jesus calls us to Him so that in Him alone we find salvation.
In hard seasons that sometimes never seems to end, what could our lives look like if each day we woke up and listened for Jesus’ “duete” call? Maybe today that call looks more like caring for yourself. Or perhaps He’s asking you to walk into challenging situations and do the hard but good thing. Maybe He just wants to sit down and have breakfast with you. No matter what, the call is clear… “Come. Be near Me. Do this with Me. See what I have in store for today.”
Jesus isn’t the only one who uses this word in scripture though. Others often use it when pointing to Jesus.
The Samaritan woman in John 4 invites her whole community to “Come and see a man who told me all that I ever did!” “duete”
The angels at the empty tomb said, “Come and see the place where He lay.” “duete”
In these two instances it didn’t stop with “come”. The “come” was followed with “then go”:
Come and see. Come and rest. Come and have breakfast.
Come! Then go!
Go and tell! Go and teach! Go and share!
Go and echo Jesus’ invitation to others to come …“duete”.
If Jesus were standing in front of you today and said, “duete”… “Come”, what do you think he’d want to talk about with you?
When you Read Matthew 11:28-30 above where Jesus invites those who are weary to come and rest, what comes to mind?
Jesus, in Matthew 11 you invite us not only to “come” but also to learn from you. I want to learn from You today. I want to learn how to find the rest You promise for my soul. I also want to learn how to live in such a way that I invite others to come and see the rest and joy and life You offer. Help me hear Your voice to come and joyfully respond when You invite me also to go and share. Amen.