Daily Reading: Matthew 11:25–30

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matt. 11:30)

One element of following Jesus is often missing when we begin the discipleship journey: work. Following Jesus is work. While some would argue with this statement, there is growth in our relationship with Jesus after salvation occurs; and all growth requires some kind of effort.

There are two holes in every yoke. A yoke is a heavy wooden harness that fits over the shoulders of oxen. It is designed to make a team work together when a piece of farming equipment is attached to the yoke and pulled across a field. In this context, the Law and legalism of the day was an impossible yoke to bear. It was not an easy yoke, nor was it a fun team to go through life with. The rules and regulations were unbearable to live by.

Being yoked to Jesus is not a free ride. We are not given permission to wander around aimlessly or become complacent in our walk with Christ. Even the easy yoke of Jesus is still a tool that symbolizes the work of a team. Indeed, the yoke of Christ is unique. His yoke is designed to take the bulk of the weight throughout life’s journey. Even though there is still a yoke and personal responsibility in following Jesus Christ, now we can confidently share life’s work with the greatest lead partner ever—Jesus himself.

Pray for endurance and strength to follow Jesus.

Jim Dunn is the Executive Director of Church Multiplication and Discipleship for The Wesleyan Church.