In Matthew 11:28 one reads

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

What does "Come unto me" mean in this context?

Other relevant questions on this verse are:


Jesus' instruction to unburden ourselves by coming to him must be viewed in the light of the metaphor which immediately follows as explained in by the pair of bullocks -

Jesus' yoke (Matt 11:28-30) vs the Law's yoke (Acts 15:10): Why is Jesus' yoke easier?

The burden is the burden of keeping the (moral) law which is humanly impossible! This burden is discussed by Jesus in another place as well where their legalism of the Pharisees in Matt 23:4 -

They tie up heavy, burdensome loads and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

Also in Luke 11:46 -

And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.

See also Acts 15:10 -

So why are you now challenging God by burdening the Gentile believers with a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors were able to bear?

By contrast, Jesus says to come to him and unload our burden of sin and our fruitless burden of efforts in law-keeping by allowing Jesus to take the load. Jesus will aid us and take that burden according to Matt 11:28-30. As Ellicott observes:

(28) Come unto me.—As in the consciousness of this plenitude of power, the Son of Man turns with infinite compassion to those whose weakness and weariness He has shared, and offers them the rest which none other can give them.

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