Matthew 11:28 NKJV Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 WEL Come to me, all who are exhausted and burdened, and I will give you rest.
This well known passage spoken by the Lord Jesus is still wonderful in its meaning and applications.
Matthew 11:25-30 is a prayer and message from the Lord Jesus.
B1 He begins by praying. Prayer is not that difficult activity that many people make it out to be. Like my daughter states, “People have a way of making God’s ways complicated.” Prayer is simply talking to God, our Father.
B2 In His prayer, He thanks His Father that the Gospel is easy to understand. It is not complicated that it needs specially gifted intellects and thinkers to study, understand it, and then communicate it to us. It is easy enough for children to understand.
B3 Next, He mentions how good this is, which reminds me of God’s creation (before Adam’s sin) was judged to be good (Genesis 1:31).
B1 The Lord Jesus then speaks of what Arminians label prevenient grace.
B2 God initiates salvation.
B3 No one can know God, Father or Son, unless God reveals it to all people (Romans 3:10-18 and John 16:8-10).
B4 It is simply impossible for humans to seek or know God, unless God reveals Himself but opening the heart and clearing the mind and understanding (Acts 16:14, John 1:9, and John 12:46, etc.).
C1 The word come is imperative; it is emphatic. Often, the Bible speaks of obeying or disobeying the Gospel. If we obey God’s, “Come,” we are wise, but the disobedient are foolish. Compare Romans 10:16, 2 Thessalonians 1:8, and 1 Peter 4:17.
C2 God does not give an invitation that is not genuine. He comes to seek and save the lost, and all people are lost (Luke 19:10).
C3 The word for labor (exhausted) is κοπιάω kopiáō Strong’s G2872. It means to work until one is worn out, exhausted. This word, for instance, is used by Peter in Luke 5:5 NIV Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” So, the burdened writer states in Psalm 38:4 WEB For my iniquities have gone over my head. As a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.
C4 The word for heavy ladened (burdened) is φορτίζω phortízō Strong’s G5412. It means be weighed down, overloaded with a burden too heavy to carry.
C5 The Holy Spirit opens our soul to the heavy burden of sin. We feel guilty. Examples:
D1 Genesis 42:21 NASB Then they said to one another, "Truly we are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen; therefore this distress has come upon us.
D2 Psalm 51:2, 9 CSB Completely wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin. ... Turn your face away from my sins and blot out all my guilt.
C6 The word for rest is ἀναπαύω anapauō Strong’s G373 which means to lie down and relax, to be at ease, to rest. The heavy burden is not being carried any more. We cannot do this our self; it is the work of God who can.
C7 It is rest that we long for. If we come, he will give us rest. This is the rest from guilt. Life still will be tough. The world does not like the Jesus of the Bible. I read the other day that on the average 115 Christians die every day for the faith, but they still have rest in their souls.
C1 The word take is also a command (imperative).
C2 God does not just forgive us but gives us a responsibility, too.
C3 Our former Master and slave owner is the devil. He is harsh and controlling. Beware of people and pastors like that.
D1 John 8:44 NLT For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
D2 The Lord Jesus came to destroy the devil’s work. 1 John 3:8 NLT But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.
C4 A yoke is referring to the yoke of animals to control and work. Instead of a heavy yoke and unbearable work, the Lord Jesus offers us a light yoke and work that we can bear.
D1 Luke 6:46 NLT So why do you keep calling me 'Lord, Lord!' when you don't do what I say?
D2 John 14:15, 23-24 NLT If you love me, obey my commandments. ... Jesus replied, "All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn't love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me.
C5 Vincent (Vincent’s Word Studies) comments: ...though it is impossible to find an English word which combines them all. Christ's yoke is wholesome, serviceable, kindly. “Christ's yoke is like feathers to a bird; not loads, but helps to motion” (Jeremy Taylor).
C6 Matthew Henry comments: Here we may find rest for our souls, and here only. Nor need we fear his yoke. His commandments are holy, just, and good. It requires self-denial, and exposes to difficulties, but this is abundantly repaid, even in this world, by inward peace and joy. It is a yoke that is lined with love. So powerful are the assistances he gives us, so suitable the encouragements, and so strong the consolations to be found in the way of duty, that we may truly say, it is a yoke of pleasantness. The way of duty is the way of rest.