Matthew 11:28 - 30
ESV - 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
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In the specific context of the verse cited in the question, I would say that, by inviting people to "come" to Him, Jesus was indeed speaking of believing in Him in order to alleviate the difficulty -- or, more accurately, the impossibility -- of shedding the burden (characterized as a "yoke", such as that worn by an ox to keep it in subjugation) of sin in God's eyes through any human works or effort (that is, through "labor") -- specifically in terms of attempting to perfectly obey the Law. By contrast, He was inviting those who had discovered that impossibility to take upon themselves the lighter "yoke" of faith (belief) in the salvation that He would make possible through His sinless life, atoning death, and subsequent resurrection. (Subsequent to that decision of faith, good works could then be performed by the believer not as a means of "earning" salvation, but in gratitude to God for a salvation that had already been received.) (On the other hand, the Bible also records instances (such as in Mark 10:17-22 or Luke 9:57-62) of people "coming to" Jesus, but not following Him, or not placing that type of saving faith in Him, either because they were unwilling to endure the hardships that would be involved, or because they accorded a higher importance or priority to aspects of their lives (such as family or possessions) other than service to Him. In that respect, the question of whether "coming to Jesus" would be the same as "believing in Jesus" would be a personal decision that each individual would make.)
"Come."The Pharisees all said "Do!" and attempted to make the individuals follow Moses and the traditions. But genuine salvation is discovered distinctly in an individual, Jesus Christ. To come to Him is the same thing as confiding in Him. This invitation is available to individuals who are depleted and burdened down. Thus there really is no difference between coming to Jesus and believing in Jesus.
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