He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it. Mark 8:34-35 NABRE
Jesus has spoken of the suffering he will undergo and so he shares with all who will follow Him that they too will share in that suffering. Not your typical sales pitch, imagine if Google offering you a job says, there will be suffering, in fact it is all suffering, choose us! Just to be sure Jesus followers gets it He speaks plainly, not in parables. “Whoever wishes …” it is their choice, nothing is forced and in fact a follower must choose, it does not happen accidentally. It is an active choice not as a spectator seeing healings, miracles and wise teaching. Following Jesus you go where He goes and that is to the cross. We must deny ourselves; meaning a complete abandonment, letting go of all our own attachments and agenda, even our desire to live. Take up our cross; everyone understood this, the Romans used crucifixion constantly for capital punishment. But you don’t go to the cross alone, it is following Jesus. Those trying to save their life will lose it; a complete attachment to self will lead to self-corruption and eventually eternal death. Whoever gives up their life for the sake of Jesus will receive eternal life. Which is exactly what Jesus does for us.
Try to imagine following Jesus and seeing all the miracles, healings and the wisdom of his words and then try to hear this message. Life so far has been awesome, and now we must suffer, die on a cross, and this is something we are too choose. It is hard to imagine this Jesus movement getting anywhere with this as the invitation.
How do you view suffering? What do you chose daily?Whoever gives up their life for the sake of Jesus will receive eternal life. Which is exactly what Jesus does for us. Click To Tweet
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