Bear Your Cross

And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:27

The next requirement for being all-in as Christ’s disciples is to bear our own cross and follow Him.

First let me say, this is not talking about the regular, daily burdens of life. Those are common to all men. Ever since Adam transgressed in the Garden, our daily lives have been lived in the “sweat of our face” (Genesis 3:19). 

Neither is Jesus saying that we should be literally nailed to a cross as He was. I have seen this practice done in different parts of the world, and it is nothing more than vain will-worship. Jesus died on the cross for the sins of all of God’s people so that we would not have to die (Hebrews 10:10). Further no man can pay the sufficient price for his own sins much less the sins of others.

This is also not referring to just a single action. Yes, being baptized is of the utmost importance since it is the first step in discipleship. But baptism does not fit the description of a cross having to be borne.

What Jesus is talking about is the need for us each to daily die to the deeds of the flesh. We need to kill the things that keep us from following Christ and being like Him.

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

Colossians 3:5

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Galatians 5:24-25

Jesus did not need to get sin out of His life because He is the Holy Son of God. But He did continually neglect Himself for the benefit of others. In order to be an apprentice of Christ, we must get the things out of our lives that are not like Him. 

However, we should not think about this requirement as a matter of what we lose. We should see what we gain by taking up our cross. 

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 6:33

When we seek first the kingdom of God, our will no longer matters. We follow the will of God and have more clarity because we are in closer fellowship with the only wise God! Further, all the earthly needs that we would normally be worried about are provided without our need for concern. 

Yes, to stop some sins it can actually hurt the body. But look at the benefits! If we hurt, we are that much closer to the Great Physician Who can and does speedily heal all our wounds.

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