24 Then Jesus spoke to his disciples. He said, “If anyone wants to follow me, he must say no to himself. He must pick up his cross and follow me. 25 If he wants to save his life, he will lose it. But if he loses his life for me, he will find it. 26 “What good is it if someone gains the whole world but loses his soul? Or what can anyone trade for his soul? 27 The Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory. His angels will come with him. And he will reward everyone in keeping with what they have done. 28 “What I’m about to tell you is true. Some who are standing here will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
After Jesus rebuked Peter for his attitude (…does not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns), he told/challenged his disciples that “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me”.
So, following Jesus consists of two parts:
“Deny themselves” means we have to give up everything for Jesus.
“Take up their cross” means we have to take the risk of death for Jesus.
Actually, “Deny themselves” and “Take up their cross” are two-in-one, one-in-two. Without “deny ourselves” we can’t “take our cross”. Without “take our cross”, we can’t follow Jesus.
This looks like mission impossible. How can we give up everything for Jesus? Why do we have to take the risk of death in order to follow Jesus?
The challenge of this passage to me is:
- How much am I willing to give up, in order to follow Jesus?
- Am I really willing to die in order to follow Jesus?
Dear Jesus, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” Thank you for letting me know the way to follow you. Remind me to put myself in your hands all the time and have in mind the concerns of God. Amen.
Written by Allen Leu