Jesus taught us, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23) Then what is your current cross?
As Christians, we should take up our cross and follow Jesus. Would you like to share what your current cross is?
yes, we have various cross. Currently, my cross is study. i have to study after work time. i am very tried, and cannot concentrate. But i have to insist on.
The cross I have recently experienced is to forgive others and myself. Because some time ago, I was condemned by the people I led, and some of them began to question the content of my sermon. After a rather painful time, I experienced God’s comfort and guidance in prayer, and God showed me how to humble myself to bear my own yoke. After praying, I learned that I needed to forgive those who did not accept me, and I needed to forgive myself and move on. This is the lesson I must face to grow up.
My recent cross is to overcome the difficult enviorment and preach the gospel boldly. It becomes more and more challenging to do outreach on campus, yet we need to evangelize lots of bright young people. I will have to face with the reality and move forward with faith.
Matthew 16:24 (NASB) Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
Mark 8:34 (NASB) And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
Luke 9:23 (NASB) And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
Just looking at these scriptures you cited shows me over and over one phrase no one talks about “he must deny himself” … most remember “and take up his cross” some forget “and follow Me.”
There are three steps to this:
- Deny self
- Pick up cross
- Follow Christ
How do we do that? Well, most of us can think of something we love to eat or drink and decide we will deny ourselves that pleasure for a certain period of time. But there is no “period” of time mentioned in any of these verses. This is to be a permanent and repeating “denial of self”. It’s a humility Christ asks us to have.
Picking up our cross is a little harder to identify. Especially if one has not first “denied self” - that is, all the rights we think we have to do it our way. To pick up our cross if we have done that, is to accept the emotional, verbal or physical crucifixion most of us will experience from non-Christian people. This is part of separating from the world and learning from Christ.
The last, “and follow Me” is only possible if we have read and studied Christ’s life on earth. He laid out a perfect example for us to follow. Literally perfect. So none of us will do this perfectly, as we are not perfect. But Jesus said “it is good that a disciple be like his teacher or a slave like his master” (see Matthew 10:25).