2016-10-15 - Following Jesus
Luke 9:23 --Then He said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."
In one short sentence, Jesus told His disciples what it would take to follow Him. First, they must deny themselves. Jesus' followers would put Jesus and others before their own needs and desires. Second, the disciples were to completely dedicate themselves to Jesus. There was no holding back. Jesus expected their all. Third, Jesus wanted their willing obedience. They were to listen to Jesus and follow His commands, because of their love for Him and others. And Jesus wanted His Disciples to do this daily.
In Jesus' time, the cross was an important symbol. Crosses were used to execute hundreds of men. Taking up one's cross meant that following Jesus came at a cost. After Jesus' Resurrection, His original disciples all paid dearly for following Jesus.
The same applies to Jesus' disciples today. Jesus calls us to follow Him, and following Jesus comes at a cost. We are to deny ourselves, dedicate ourselves to Jesus, and obey Him willingly. We are called to do this daily. Following Jesus means taking up the cross. Are you following Jesus today?
Richard Moser, Jr
All scripture references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.