In all Jesus’ lovely invitations extended to people, this in Matthew 11: 28 – 30 seems to be extended to greater population of the masses. In every nation and society, the suffering people record over 75% of the populace. His invitation here is specifically directed to the broad spectrum of people suffering under different kinds of burdens: “Come unto me ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11: 28 KJV). The devotional will be looking at this invitation in three parts: (1) His invitation to those who labour, and heavy laden. (2) His invitation to those to take His yoke upon them and learn from Him (3) Two things those who respond to the invitation will receive from Him. In this general view on the invitation, we will see how great is this Jesus’ invitation. Some great servants of God explained how awesome Jesus’ call on those who labour and heavy laden is.
Martin Luther, in his ‘Large Catechism’ said that: “He invites…with the greatest kindness…” Pastor A. T. Robertson said in his; ‘Robertson’s Word Pictures’ that “No sublimer (very inspiring or impressive) words exist than this call of Jesus to the toiling and the burdened to come to Him.” Another writer was quoted by R. A. Torrey who said that “In this invitation our Lord proclaims Himself to be everything to the souls.” In saying “Come unto me all ye who labour” we know Jesus invites everyone who labour. This word ‘labour’ can be interpreted from various angle as derived from different Greek words. The word labour we are looking at here is derived from Greek word “kopiao” meaning toil that reduces strength”. It is a labour that causes pains, weariness and makes one feel fatigued. The word “heavy laden” here is derived from Greek word “phortizo” meaning to load up something on animals to carry or into something to be carried. Figuratively, it conveys a meaning of overburdening with ceremony or spiritual anxiety. This is what Jesus noted that the Pharisees had laid many burden on the people (Matt. 23: 4).
Jesus’ invitation of come all ye who labour was directed to those been overburdened by the Mosaic laws, laws of observing the legalities of the Jewish leaders, ceremonious rites and unwarranted precepts. Unwarranted precepts can come from governments as heavy laden. These laws made people guilty of sins for feeling inadequate of fulfilling the laws. Besides, there are people struggling through self-efforts to live above sins. Jesus called unto all these people to come to Him. One Pastor David E. Owen explained that Jesus speaks to “…those who are tied of exhaustion of labour, those travailing in the effort of labour.” The Beloved, we all are engaged in different labours. Which one are you passing through now? Jesus says “come you to me now with the labour or labours and He will help you carry! See 1 Peter 5: 7).
LORD JESUS, the Bible said I can cast my burden upon you (1 Peter 5: 7). I come to you today, with many loads of burdens. Take them off my shoulders by your love and mercy. Amen