Today’s Reading: Luke 9:21-27
Then [Jesus] said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
Meditation: Jesus foretells His own suffering, rejection, and death. We read in the verses prior that Peter has just declared Jesus the long-expected Messiah, the One who people expected would free them from the oppression of Roman rule. But the life Jesus says He will live is very different. Instead, Jesus says that He will be tortured and killed.
Jesus spoke plainly by mentioning the cross. Like everyone else living under Roman rule, Jesus’ disciples would have known that the only cross anyone carried was a cross upon which they were doomed to die. No criminal undergoing crucifixion ever had the choice to accept the cross that was laid upon them.
But Jesus reveals that for things to come about according to God’s plan, He must “suffer many things” (v. 22). So instead of avoiding a cross wrongly placed upon Him, He would willingly choose to put upon Himself that cross for the sake of others. Jesus also tells His disciples that if they want to follow Him, they must also choose to sacrifice their own lives as well. They must daily forego their own desires for the sake of God’s desires. Today, that same call exists for all who want to follow Jesus. His example does not promise physical comfort. It guarantees suffering. But it is the only way to the Kingdom of God. Maybe you believe in Who Jesus is. Have you made the choice to follow Him and to be part of a plan far greater than your own? The cost of forsaking our own dreams is far outweighed by the blessing of following the Savior into eternity.
Prayer: Almighty God, I believe in You. Your plan of redemption through Your Son was perfect in design and execution. Help me to daily choose Your Will over my own. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN.