Vs. 23, “Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” I absolutely love this verse, for Jesus does not hold anything back! Remember the cross was not a heartfelt sign back in the day…it signified death and pain. But when we choose to die to ourselves, it is then that Jesus can use us the most effectively. Jesus would send out the twelve to preach the news with authority, just as He has given to us today. To share in the mission of saving others. We are also reminded of some of the similar events we have read in Matthew & Mark recently as well in this chapter (miracle feeding, Peter’s confession, the Transfiguration, etc.).
Regarding application…Courage to Share. Vs. 26, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” When I think of this verse, I envision a son or daughter who are embarrassed of their Mom or Dad in public. Perhaps the parents pull up in a junky old car while all the other kids parents pull up in nice cars. Perhaps the parents don’t speak English well and the child is embarrassed that they always have to translate. Spiritually, I think this happens when we are scared to pray in public in the lunchroom. I think this happens when we are scared to stand up to people who curse the Lord’s name in anger. I think this happens when we are too scared to invite others to church because what they will think of us. Let’s be courageous to share about the one we love!