Is Jesus' burden heavy, or light?
Matt 11:28, 30 Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest...For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Heb 12:6 The Lord disciplines the person He loves and punishes every son whom He receives
John 16:33 In the world ye shall have tribulation.

The objection here is that, according to one Skeptic, "although the burden of following Jesus is supposed to be light, Christians can expect to be punished, disciplined, and burdened with ordeals."

First note the Matthean passage in its full reading: "[28] Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Here Jesus is speaking of those weary and burdened by legalism and the Pharisaitic codes. He will give rest in that sense, namely, that our souls will rest. Note the conjunction in verse 29 which is a conjunction of consequence. By coming to Him, taking his yoke, and learning from Him, we shall find rest for our souls. And the yoke we must wear and the burden we must bear is light indeed, as the Person and work of Christ -- never our own efforts, are what save us.

It is not really logical to press the Matthean passage against Heb 12:6 or John 16:33. First, John 16:33 describes how the world will react to followers of Christ. How the world reacts to followers really doesn't have anything to do with the easiness of salvation. We are easily saved, says the Matthean passage, but the Matthean passage makes no pronouncement on the easiness of our life in the world. This is not a subtle literary point -- it is there quite clearly for the reader to peruse.

Second, the Hebrews passage also doesn't have to do with the easiness of being saved either, for it discusses possible actions by God toward us after being justified in the easy fashion that the Matthean passage describes.

This should remove any legitimate claim of contradiction. The Matthean passage deals with the gentleness and restfulness of being saved. The Johannine passage deals with how the world will treat followers of Christ. The Hebrews passage deals with how God will treat His children. These three passages do not intersect and cannot be pressed against each other without again committing a category fallacy.

-Eric Vestrup