Matthew 11: 28-30
28. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavyladen, and I will give you rest.
labour – (kopiao pronounced kop-ee-ah-o)
to feel fatigue; by implication to work hard; toil, be wearied
heavyladen – (phortizo pronounced for-tid-zo)
to load up (properly as a vessel or animal), to overburden with ceremony (or spiritual anxiety)
29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
yoke – (zugos pronounced dzoo-gos)
a coupling, figuratively servitude (a law or obligation); also literally the beam of the balance (as connecting the scales)
rest – (anapausis pronounced an-ap-ow-sis)
intermission; by implication recreation
30. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
yoke – same meaning as in verse 29
burden – (phortion pronounced for-tee-on)
an invoice (as part of freight), that is, (figuratively) a task or service
Oxen are animals that have heavy bodies and long tails with smooth horns standing out from the side of their head. They are powerful work animals mainly used for plowing, serve as beasts of burden, and symbolize ferocious strength; they are very patient and move slowly and steadily getting the job done. They were important working members of the Jewish agricultural community. In addition, they were used for food and in religious ceremonies.
The Jews were terribly burdened down with all the laws and rites they had to endure. Jesus told them if they would come to Him they could be free and have rest from all their fears of breaking the law which would lead to eternal death. They would no longer have to live with a horrible sin conscience, but they would be able to truly get forgiveness.
A yoke was put around the neck of a pair of oxen so they could walk in sync as they plowed the field. Jesus wanted them to learn to walk with Him just as the oxen worked together; the restraints and laws of His religion would be mild, gentle and easy compared to the harsh, overbearing, and oppressive ways they had been used to.
The same holds true for us today, except we get weighted down with different things than the Israelites did in the day of Jesus. We let all kinds of “stuff” bog us down and keep us from living the life of peace and rest that Jesus died for on the cross.
The laws of God are free and easy compared to the harsh slavery of sin. It is much easier to be a Christian than a sinner. Of all the yokes imposed on people, that of the Redeemer is the lightest.
Ask God to show you what you need to get rid of or organize in your life. There is nothing like knowing that everything you do is something God desires and you are in the center of His Will.