AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #28
- Deny Yourself
“23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
24 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.
25 “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:23–25).
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Jesus says that “If anyone wishes to come after Me…
- He must deny himself
- Take up his cross daily, and
- Follow me
WARNING: This is not a ‘seeker friendly’ request!
We have already seen that Jesus’ command to follow Him was not a simple request. It was spoken in the imperative as a command “come hither, come here, come now!” Jesus warned that once you put your hand to the plow and then looked back, you are no longer fit for service in the Kingdom of God.
Secondly, anyone wishing to follow Jesus must understand the context and vernacular of His words to mean, “Follow Me in order to be taught by me, looking over my shoulder. You will learn by watching and you will be identified with Me and you will suffer with me and because of me.” There is a price to pay for following Jesus.
Next, there is no way to follow Jesus and retain the life you once knew. Following Jesus requires a total commitment of life, resources and of your future. So, to say “you must deny yourself” actually means a total disregard one’s own interests; to deny, abnegate, and abjure your life in favor of the cause and calling of Christ.
Finally, to “take up your cross daily” means you are willing to bear the burdens Christ bore and that your term of service is indefinite and eternal.
One last reminder, which will serve those well who are wishing to come after Jesus, offered by the Apostle Paul in
Hebrews 6:4 “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, (v5) and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, (v6) and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance,”
Now, it is your turn:
HOW MUST YOU DO IT?
HOW YOU MUST TEACH IT?
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, Heb 12:1
Your Brother and Friend