Put in simple terms, a heavy burden means something that disturbs a person's sleeping pattern. People respond to life burdens differently. Some deal with them in a calm and responsible manner, others struggle hard to deal with them, others again are deeply upset about them. There are different kinds of burdens, and the worst of them all is pride, because it blinds a person to appreciating others people's wisdom. Pride is unspiritual. A person with pride prefers to believe in his/her own ability in dealing with all life matters. God gives us wisdom to deal with life's problems, but not all of them. Pride blinds a person to seeing the value of Jesus' teaching. Failing to see the hand of God working through Jesus, both in the world, and in each one of us, is a spiritual blindness. Humility helps a person to value spiritual needs before material needs. Jesus praised His disciples and prayed for them. 'I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Mat 11,25. At the time of Jesus, 'mere children' were slaves, not their leaders. Their leaders worked for the Roman Empire to receive privilege, power, and wealth from the Romans. These leaders relied on their own wisdom, and knowledge. Jesus' teaching made no home in them. They failed to see, that human wisdom was nothing, or obsolete, compared to God's. They claimed they had great insight, and yet they failed to recognize the true faith Jesus taught. The difference between 'the leaders' and 'mere children' was, that the former saw things from the angle of self- indulgence, while the latter saw with the eyes of faith. Having faith in Jesus was the greatest insight of all insights. Those who welcomed Jesus received God's great blessings.
First, Jesus' disciples were blessed not because their lives had less heavy burdens, but because Jesus prayed for them. Nothing is better than Jesus' prayers, because His prayers united them to God (John 17,10), and nothing could harm them. Jesus prayed for them, and walked with them. He was their companion on the journey. Jesus lived not for Himself but for God. Jesus' disciples live not for themselves, but for Jesus.
Second, Jesus' disciples had a safe haven when they felt overburdened. 'Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest'. Mat 11, 28. Spiritual relaxation means feeling God's love, and tender care which is real, and relevant to life's situations. Without such care one has to carry life's burdens alone, and they seem endless.
Third, learning from Jesus means to live a life of humility, and gentleness. It is God's way, and God's way is life giving, a way that leads to worthwhile life, and everlasting life.
'Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light' Mat 11,29-30.
The word 'rest' here has double meanings. Rest is good for our physical body. We all need it. More importantly, rest refers to the spiritual rest, and most importantly, it is RIP- 'Rest for your souls'. For Jesus' disciples, rest in Christ means everlasting salvation. Jesus' disciples are not free from heavy burdens. However, in providing humble service we can soften the yoke and lighten life's heavy burdens.