What Jesus Did! 'Take Up the Cross' — Matthew 10:38-39

Thursday, May 11, 2017

"If a person will not accept the cross (suffering) that will be given to him when he follows me, then that person is not good enough for me. Any person that loves his life {more than he loves me} will lose true life. Any person that gives up his life for me will find true life."
— Matthew 10:38-39
Illustration of Matthew 10:38-39 — "If a person will not accept the cross (suffering) that will be given to him when he follows me, then that person is not good enough for me.

Key Thought

Far from being a decorative piece of jewelry, the cross in Jesus' day was something hideous and shameful. Roman citizens weren't crucified. Decent citizens weren't executed on a cross. Only the scum, riffraff, and hideous were humiliated and tortured by crucifixion. In fact, the words crucify and cross were considered to be very crude words not allowed in polite Greek society. The Jews even had Scripture that suggested that anyone who was placed on a cross was cursed by God. So for Jesus to say "Take up your cross" were shocking words to hear. Why a cross? Can't you think of something better? Nope! Nothing can symbolize God's love, man's inhumanity, sin's ugly putrefying power in the world, Satan's hatred, and God's forgiveness quite like a cross, if that cross is where Jesus paid for our sins and absorbed Satan's worst deadly blow. Yet in that cross, God's righteous demands were satisfied and our sins forgiven.

Today's Prayer

Oh gracious and sacrificial Father, may I never boast in my deeds, but always look to the cross as my source of righteousness. Through your cleansing and empowering Spirit, please help me to surrender my life, my heart, my sin, and my dreams to you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

I have come to make this happen: 'The people in a person's own family will be his enemies. A son will be against his father. A daughter will be against her mother. A daughter-in-law will be against her mother-in-law.' "Any person that loves his father or mother more than he loves me is not good enough to follow me. Any person who loves his son or daughter more than he loves me is not good enough to follow me. If a person will not accept the cross (suffering) that will be given to him when he follows me, then that person is not good enough for me. Any person that loves his life {more than he loves me} will lose true life. Any person that gives up his life for me will find true life. The person that accepts you also accepts me. And the person that accepts me also accepts the One (God) that sent me. Any person that meets a prophet and accepts him will get the same reward a prophet gets. And any person that accepts a good man because that man is good will get the same reward a good man gets. If any person helps one of these little ones because they are my followers, then that person will truly get his reward. That person will get his reward even if he only gave my follower a cup of cold water."

Matthew 10:36-42

Related Scripture Readings

I hope I will never boast about things like that. The cross (death) of our Lord Jesus Christ is my only reason for boasting. Through Jesus' death on the cross the world is dead to me; and I am dead to the world.

Galatians 6:14

Greetings from Paul. I was called (chosen) to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I was called because that is what God wanted. Greetings also from Sosthenes, our brother {in Christ}. To the church of God in Corinth, to those people that have been made holy in Christ Jesus. You were called to be God's holy people. You were called with all the people everywhere that trust in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours: The Jews ask for miracles as proofs. The Greeks want wisdom. But this is the message we tell everyone: Christ was killed on a cross. This message is a big problem to the Jews. And the non-Jews think it is foolish. But Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God to those people that God has called (chosen)—Jews and Greeks (non-Jews). Even the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom. Even the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

1 Corinthians 1:22-25; 2:1-2

We should always follow the example of Jesus. Jesus is the leader in our faith. And he makes our faith perfect. He suffered death on the cross. But Jesus accepted the shame of the cross like it was nothing. He did this because of the joy that God put before him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God's throne. Think about Jesus. He was patient while sinful men were doing bad things against him. Think about him, so that you also will be patient and not stop trying.

Hebrews 12:2-3

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.