Jesus continued to say to all of them, "If any person wants to follow me, he must say 'No' to the things he wants. That person must accept the cross (suffering) that is given to him every day, and he must follow me.
— Luke 9:23
If we are going to be one of Jesus' followers, one of his disciples, we're going to have to be willing to walk in the way of the Cross. That means giving up our selfish ambition and pride. That means we live to honor Christ and to bless others in his name. And our trip to the Cross must come every day.
Father, may I never claim glory except for the glorious grace you have given me in the Cross of Jesus upon which I have crucified my selfish desires and committed to trust in the salvation that is found in Jesus alone. In the Lord Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
One time Jesus was praying alone. His followers came together there. Jesus asked them, "Who do the people say I am?" The followers answered, "Some people say you are John the Baptizer. Other people say you are Elijah. And some people say you are one of the prophets from long ago that has come back to life." Then Jesus said to his followers, "And who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ from God." Jesus warned them not to tell anyone. Then Jesus said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things. He will be rejected by the older Jewish leaders, the leading priests, and teachers of the law. The Son of Man will be killed. But after three days he will be raised from death." Jesus continued to say to all of them, "If any person wants to follow me, he must say 'No' to the things he wants. That person must accept the cross (suffering) that is given to him every day, and he must follow me. The person that wants to save his life will lose it. And every person that gives his life for me will save it. It is worth nothing for a person to have the whole world, if he himself is destroyed or lost. If any person is ashamed of me and my teaching, then I will be ashamed of that person. I will be ashamed of that person at the time I come with my glory and with the glory of the Father and the holy angels. I tell you the truth. Some of you people standing here will see the kingdom of God before you die."
Related Scripture Readings
When you do things, don't let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble and give more honor to other people than to yourselves. Don't be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of other people, too. In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus. Christ himself was like God in everything. Christ was equal with God. But Christ did not think that being equal with God was something that he must keep. He gave up his place with God and agreed to be like a servant. He was born to be a man and became like a servant. And when he was living as a man, he humbled himself by being fully obedient to God. He obeyed even when that caused him to die. And he died on a cross. Christ obeyed God, so God raised Christ to the most important place. God made the name of Christ greater than every other name. God did this because he wants every person to bow for the name of Jesus. Every person in heaven, on the earth, and under the earth will bow. Every person will confess (say), "Jesus Christ is Lord (Master)." When they say this, it will bring glory to God the Father.
So the life that I live now is not really me—it is Christ living in me. I still live in my body, but I live by faith in the Son of God (Jesus). Jesus is the One who loved me. He gave himself to save me.
Those people who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified (killed) their own sinful selves. They have given up their old selfish feelings and the evil things they wanted to do. We get our new life from the Spirit. So we should follow the Spirit.