In Luke 9 Jesus says that those that want to follow Him will have to deny themselves and take up their cross daily. In this message we explore what that means and how it relates to being on Mission with God.
On Mission with God: All In (Luke Chapter 9)
Verse 18 Jesus is trying to see how the disciples are dealing with what the crowds think of Him.
Verse 19 The reality is, this varied response to who Jesus is remains today.
Verse 20 Then Jesus asks the direct question, who do you think I am. Peter gets the answer right.
Verse 21 As Jesus so often does, He tells His disciple not to tell anyone.
Verse 22 Jesus begins to explain what will happen to Him. Of course, the disciples don’t fully understand this.
• Jesus is setting the stage for what is next for the disciples.
o Jesus is about to call the disciples to join Him on mission.
o His mission is one of persecution, rejection, death and resurrection.
Verse 23 Jesus reveals the true depth of this call to follow Him.
• We see three key verbs in this verse as to what it means to be a disciple.
1. deny oneself 2. take up 3. follow
• The way the Greek verbs are structured here, the first two must be done in order for the last one to take place. In other words, that last command, to follow, flows out of the first two.
• You can’t follow, until you have denied self and taken up your cross.
Deny oneself: Denying self means always putting the Kingdom first in thought, deed, and attitude.
Take up his cross daily: The cross is both a symbol of death and a symbol of humiliation.
• The point of the cross was not just death but public humiliation in death.
As Followers of Christ we are called not only to the possibility of death
But also, the possibility of humiliation because of our allegiance to Him
• A person who was to be crucified also carried the cross beam of their cross.
This was meant to show that despite their past rebellion against the state, they were now in full submission to the state.
By daily bearing our cross we are showing that we are in full submission to God.
• Notice also this is a daily response.
• If we take up our cross just once, then what difference is there between us and a criminal being executed?
o A convicted criminal only bears a cross once right?
• When we daily take up our cross, when we daily die to ourselves, does that not point to something greater than ourselves?
Follow: The natural consequence of denying oneself and daily taking up our cross is to follow the one who replaces the “self”
Luke 9:57-61 gives us a great example of this.
This year, do something different. Don’t continue to do the same thing and expect different results.
Put some new wine in a new wine skin, daily.