”Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” Matthew 16:24-25
The cost of discipleship cannot be avoided or toned down or filtered or softened. See, my person, God knows we are all tempted to make a dash for cheap grace, to avoid or jump over the real issue of cross-bearing. But, we cannot ignore the message in today’s Quote, plain enough — “whoever wishes to come after Me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”
While on earth, Jesus was concerned about the troubling direction of his popularity. Following the extraordinary miracle of the Transfiguration, the confidence of his followers, especially Peter, was boundless. They saw his star rising and they expected to rise with him too. They had everything to gain and nothing to lose by following such a miracle-worker. This, they thought, was the dream of dreams; the good and wonderful life at its best. Peter even objects Jesus’s suffering and death at the hands of the chief priests and scribes? “God forbid,” Peter cried, “No! such thing shall ever happen to you.” And, what was Jesus response? “Get behind me, Satan! You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do,”
The sincere or non sincere enthusiasm of fair-weather friends turns on a dime, and Jesus had to speak directly to the whole issue at hand in today’s message. He absolutely insists in v25: that all Christians ministers and followers i.e all who would follow him must take up the cross; must lose life in order to gain life. This is not a career, but vocation/calling with risks. What do you see? A planted seed that died and decayed in the soil to produce more of fresh…are you? Peace be unto you!