Day 19 - Our Cross
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” --Luke 9:23-25
After having looked at what Jesus did on the cross and what He taught concerning His kingdom reign, we need to take some time to investigate how that impacted Jesus’s life and how it should transform the lives of those who follow Him.
The word “disciple” is one that has become a part of Christian jargon in America. It has come to mean a number of different things related to life as a part of a church community, but in Jesus’s time, that word was used to describe a lifestyle. It was common for Jewish teachers (Rabbis) to have a small group of disciples who would literally follow him from place to place learning how to live and teach like that leader. This is why it’s not a big surprise that when Jesus asked His disciples to follow Him, they dropped what they were doing in order to be one of His chosen disciples; it was considered a tremendous honor.
Part of the discipleship process was learning how and why the teacher lived his life in a certain way, and for Jesus and His followers this looked quite different from the other Jewish Rabbis. Jesus lived a life of extreme sacrifice while teaching about God’s kingdom filled with love. The expectation was that as a disciple your life would look similar to your teacher’s so that when people saw you, they would recognize whose teaching you followed. Jesus wanted His disciples to look like Him in the love and sacrifice they displayed for those around them. That’s why the final part of Luke 9:25 asks if it’s better for a disciple to gain what the world offers in exchange for their very own identity; following Christ becomes who you are.
How does Luke 6:40 help clarify these concepts?