President Bill Clinton’s birth name was William Jefferson Blythe after his father who died in a car crash. Later in life, Clinton’s mom remarried and William Jefferson Blythe took on the last name of his step-father Roger Clinton, thus becoming the Bill Clinton we remember as the 42nd president of the United States. It can be said that if you know William Jefferson Blythe, you know President Bill Clinton. And if you know President Bill Clinton, you know William Jefferson Blythe.
Jesus made several claims to his deity and in one instance in the book of Matthew, he makes it clear that He and God the Father are one and the same.
“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Matthew 11:27 (NIV)
The only way to know God is through Jesus Christ. If you reject Jesus, you are rejecting God. The only way to know God is to trust Jesus. Unlike Bill Clinton and William Jefferson Blythe, Jesus Christ and God the Father are two distinct individuals; however, they are also one-and-the-same. We come to know God when we take refuge in the comforting arms of Jesus.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
When Jesus preached this message he was making a direct contrast to the burdensome rules and regulations administered by the religious leaders known as the Pharisees. Jesus went on to talk about His yoke being light. A yoke is a wooden crosspiece fitted over the necks of two animals from which ropes are fastened to allow for efficient pulling of a plow or cart. Taking on a yoke implies one is freely submissive and deliberately yielding to the one holding the guide ropes.
“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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30 (NIV)
Jesus wants us to know there is no long list of rules and regulations to follow. When you take on the yoke of Jesus you are making a commitment to follow His teaching. Jesus was able to boil his teaching down to one rule.
“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14 (NIV)
That makes for a very light burden.
Answer each question as though you were speaking privately to Jesus. Don’t just answer yes or no, explain your answer completely to yourself and to the Lord.
Do you understand that the only way to know God is by knowing Jesus?
Are you freely following the teachings of Jesus?
Do you understand that only Jesus can provide salvation – not any rules?
Do you understand that loving your neighbor fulfills all the rules?
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