Comeunto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. – Matt. 11:28 KJV
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Jesus Christ had just dispatched his twelve disciples and went into the cities teaching and preaching when emissaries arrived from John the Baptist who was at this time in prison with an enquiry on whether he was the expected messiah – Matt. 11:1-3. He sent them back to him to report what they had seen to him to help him make up his mind based on the supplied evidence (Matt. 11:4-6) and subsequently informed those listening to him of the importance of John the Baptist in the kingdom of God – Matt. 11:7-15.
As much as he thought there was enough evidence to prove his personality and who he claims to be, Jesus Christ believed the generation was an unbelieving one always seeking evidence despite the sufficient evidence available to them to clear all their doubts – Matt. 11:15-19. He had the same view of the cities where he had preached and taught, with all the accompanying miracles, warning them of the grave repercussions that awaited them because of their unbelief – Matt. 11:20-24. He however acknowledged the role of God in not giving Grace for all to be able to get this revelation unless those desiring of it develop a humble and child-like approach to things of God – Matt. 11:24-26.
It was at this point that he informed whoever cared to listen that everything was delivered to him by the Almighty God but only those who God grants Grace will be able to know this. In the light of this great position that God had placed him, he sent out an invite which is the foundation text of today’s devotion informing all who labour and are heavily laden to come to him with the promise to grant them rest.
The word “labour” used in the text implies work and Jesus is by no means telling people that labouring is negative in any form neither is he saying that coming to him will stop people from labouring. His use of the word labour is indicative of working so hard with a non-commensurate result. It refers to the situation where input in terms of effort of an individual falls short of reasonable expectation by any margin. He is not referring to a lazy man’s expectation of a huge reward for little or no input even though it is not outside what God can do if he decides to bless someone, but this particular invite is not for those waiting for that type of intervention. The people invited in today’s scripture will not only be those labouring as defined above but are also heavily laden. To be laden is to be weighed down by something and in this instance it will not be out of place to consider it as being weighed down by the challenges of life such that their inflow does not match their expenditure. This invite is valid no matter how heavy the weight is. So Jesus in this invite is calling on those whose labour expectations are not being met despite putting in sufficient effort but expenditures are rising by the minute thus making life very difficult. To this group, Jesus sends out a message of hope that he will give them rest. Halleluyah!
So what are you waiting for? Accept his invitation today. Just as he responded to the emissaries from John, you have heard, read and probably witnessed how he has responded to others. He may not do it in the exact manner that he did it for others but he will make you happy in the end. The Bible says that they came to him with various forms of sicknesses but they all went home with joy – Lk. 4:40. No matter the weight of your burden, he is capable of handling it and lightening for you. Is there any yoke (weight) that is threatening to snuff life out of you, it must be that you did not approach Jesus Christ because he would have relieved you of it as promised. Accept his invite today and you will also return from your visit to him with joy in Jesus name, Amen. May God lighten all our burdens as we approach him with them in Jesus name. Amen.