“Come to Me, all 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.”
The word “labor” here means to “grow weary (with toil or burdens or grief)”. It implies bodily fatigue from hard work. We can all understand that one, I hope.
And the phrase “heavy laden” means to “place a burden upon; to load.” So, labor has to do with being exhausted from what you’ve done, and laden means to have things put on you. Do you know how that feels? To have someone put their problems on you and leave you to do the work of figuring it out? I bet someone listening to Jesus that day thought of all the rules and regulations that the leaders had put on them. Handwashings and fastings; don’t walk to far on the Sabbath and all sorts of restrictions had been put on the people; they had been laden down with rules in a life that was already one of labor. Jesus covered all the bases here.
Interesting that Jesus referred to “His yoke.” Wait a minute. Isn’t it really popular in Christianity today to think that there’s not much required of us? Just be a fairly good person, and God will favor you—right? I don’t know about that. Jesus stated right here that He does, in fact have a yoke, though He says that it is easy. I think maybe what He was getting at is this: there must be two animals to work a yoke. But Jesus will do the work, if we submit to Him...submit our all. Every desire, every thought, every goal and aspiration. He will continue to lead (and maybe pull us along sometimes!) us in the right direction if we will just “come to Him.”
Do you think that maybe the people there though of the Sabbath day when He promised to give them rest?
One last thought, “...the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” John 6:37. Jesus promises to accept anyone that truly come to Him by faith, and He promises to give them rest for their souls! Beautiful promises! Claim them today, and everyday that you feel tired, exhausted, beat up and let down. He will help you to find rest from the work and anxiety of the world. Come to Jesus today, and try Him to see if He will fulfill His word to you!