"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy;having their conscience seared with a hot iron;"1 Timothy 4:1-2

domingo, 17 de novembro de 2013

" What Jesus meant when he said : " Take up your cross and follow me

Question : " ( Matthew 16:24 , Mark 08:34 , Luke 09:23 ) " " What Jesus meant when he said : " Take up your cross and follow me

Answer: Let's start with what Jesus did not mean . Many people interpret " cross " as some burden they must carry on their lives : a strained relationship , a thankless job , a physical illness . With pride of self -pity , they say , " That's my cross I have to bear. " Such an interpretation is not what Jesus meant when he said : " Take up your cross and follow me . "

When Jesus carried his cross to Golgotha ​​to be crucified , no one was thinking of the cross as a symbol of a burden to carry . For a person in the first century , the cross meant one thing and one thing only : death by the most painful and humiliating human beings could develop .

Two thousand years later , Christians view the cross as a beloved symbol of atonement , forgiveness , grace and love . But in Jesus' day , the cross represented nothing but torturous death . Because the Romans forced convicted criminals to carry their own crosses to the place of crucifixion , carrying a cross means bring your own device running while facing ridicule along the way to death .

Therefore , " Take up your cross and follow me " means to be willing to die in order to follow Jesus . This is called " dying to self . " It is a call to absolute surrender . After each time Jesus commanded to carry the cross , He said : " For whoever would save his life will lose it , but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it . Which is good for a man to gain the whole world , and lose or forfeit himself? " ( Luke 9:24-25 ) . Although the call is tough, the reward is incomparable .

Wherever Jesus went, he attracted crowds . Although these multitudes often followed as Messiah , their view that the Messiah really was and what He would do , was distorted . They thought the Christ would usher in the kingdom restored . They believed He would free them from the oppressive rule of their Roman occupiers . Even own inner circle of Christ's disciples thought the kingdom was brief ( Luke 19:11 ) . When Jesus began to teach that He was going to die at the hands of the Jewish leaders and their masters Gentiles ( Luke 9:22 ) , his popularity fell . Many of the shocked followers rejected . In fact, they were not able to put to death their own ideas , plans and desires , and exchange them for His .

Following Jesus is easy when life runs smoothly , our true commitment to Him is revealed during trials . Jesus assured us that trials will come to His followers ( John 16:33 ) . Discipleship demands sacrifice , and Jesus never hid that cost.

In Luke 9:57-62 , three people seemed willing to follow Jesus. When Jesus asked them further , their commitment was timid at best . They failed to count the cost of following Him . None was willing to take up his cross and crucify her their own interests .

Therefore , Jesus appeared to dissuade them . How is it different from the typical Gospel presentation ! How many people would respond to an altar call that was , " Come , follow Jesus , and you may face the loss of friends , family , reputation , career , and possibly even your life " ? The number of false converts would likely decrease ! This call is what Jesus meant when he said : " Take up your cross and follow me . "