As if His words about His own suffering, rejection, and death were not frightening enough, Jesus began to tell His disciples what He expected of them. It sounded as if hard times were coming to them as well. Self-denial, cross-carrying, life-losing. None of that sounded appealing, but Jesus did not make it sound optional. He did not make it sound optional because it is not optional.
We begin with the section about following Christ. "If anyone wishes to come after Me," Jesus said. The word translated as "if" is ei
There is no coming after until there is the denying of self."If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me."
We do well to ask our Lord to shine light on our own attitudes and desires so that we might see ourselves as He sees us. Whose desires reign in our lives? Our own or those of Christ? Do we want to please Him first or ourselves? Oh, dear ones, if we are to follow Jesus, this hard look at ourselves must be done, and then the hard work of relinquishing our desires for His. Following Jesus is the sweetest part of life, but it cannot happen as long as we follow ourselves. Choose this day whom you will serve. Choose well, dear ones. Choose well.