Get Yoked to Jesus

Lesson and Bible Game

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Application: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Before the Game Discussion
Ask, “What is the meaning of discipline?” (Receive answers)

While we usually think of discipline as a punishment, the word discipline means behaving a certain way or being trained according to a certain standard or set of rules, learning to be responsible and self-controlled. Punishment might then be used to correct those who disobey those rules or standards. Interestingly, the word disciple, those early followers of Jesus, (and those who follow Jesus today), comes from the word, discipline. 

With this understanding of discipline, why do you suppose Jesus’ followers are called disciples? (Receive answers) 

When you trust in Jesus as your Savior and Forever Friend, you are agreeing to follow his standards, his rules. This doesn’t happen over night, but over a lifetime, by the Holy Spirit’s help, people become trained, disciplined, to obey and follow Jesus.

When Jesus said, Take my yoke upon you and learn from me . . . (Matthew 11:29) he was inviting his disciples to come under his discipline, to be trained by him, to be his students.

The people of his day were familiar with animal yokes. A yoke is a wooden bar that joins the heads or necks of two animals, such as oxen or horses, allowing them to pull heavy loads. A younger animal is often paired with an older animal. Since the older animal has learned the work required of it, this helps the younger animal to learn more quickly. The older animal also knows the right paths to take and avoids stepping in holes, thereby protecting the younger animal from harm. When Jesus told his disciples to take on his yoke, this was the idea he wanted to convey to them; he wanted them to be trained by him, to go where he leads, because he knows the way to eternal life with God.

When we pray, "lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil," we acknowledge that we need Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, to protect us. However, being tempted to sin is not the same thing as sinning. All of us are tempted to sin; even Jesus was tempted, yet he never sinned. When Satan tempted Jesus to sin, Jesus fought back by using God’s Word. (Matthew 4:1-11)

When we’re yoked to Jesus, we can avoid being tempted to do wrong. But this requires us to first trust in Jesus as our Savior, and then to learn God’s Word, to hide it in our hearts and minds, so that when we are tempted, we will choose Jesus’ way of doing things, by the Holy Spirit’s power, and not go our own way. When we choose Jesus’ way, being under his discipline, we are delivered, that is, we are rescued from evil. The great news is that when we fail to obey, and we will from time to time, Jesus invites us to confess our sin, that is admit we did wrong and ask him to forgive us; he then promises to cleanse us and restore us to a good relationship with him. (1 John 1:9)

Today we will play a game that reminds us to be yoked to Jesus; to listen and obey his direction.

How to Play
Establish a large playing area with a start line and at the opposite end of the field place a cross*. Divide players into teams of 4-6 players. Each team will need a Hoola-Hoop (representing yokes). Teams line up with the first two players on each team standing back-to-back inside a Hoola-Hoop, (in their “yokes”) while holding the hoop at waist level. One player faces forward to lead, the other player faces backwards. At the go teacher calls out the direction teams must go: forward, left, right, stop, reverse (backwards player faces forwards). Teacher continues making directional calls as teams move across the field. When teams reach the cross, they touch it, both turn and face forward, and then race back to their team line to tag off to the next two players. Play continues like this as long as time allows.

After the Game Discussion
As we learn to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, he will lead us and help us. We might not always know the direction he’s taking us, but as we learn his Word, pray, and obey him, he will provide a way of escape from temptation. The Bible says, “God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to bear it” 1 Corinthians 10:13 (CSB).

Close in prayer.

Did this lesson encourage and help you? Then you might enjoy the entire series on the LORD's Prayer, see below.

Prayer of Jesus
This game coordinates well with Lesson 5 from our Prayer of Jesus Bible lessons.

Copyright 2024 S.A. Keith - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

*3” diameter PVC pipe with connectors makes for a durable and long lasting cross. 

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