Three of the four Gospel writers record the statement that Jesus makes about picking up our cross.
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
Each one, almost identical to the other. The only difference comes in Luke who adds the word DAILY.
Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross (DAILY) and follow me.
Jesus says, if you want to truly be my disciple, that is, live how I live, do what I do, become who I am, here is what it will cost you, “Take up your cross, and follow me.”
I ask again. Are You a Disciple of Jesus Christ?
Not sure? Well, let’s break this down and understand what it is that Jesus is asking.
There are three things I think we need to look at that will help us understand this verse. What is a Disciple? What’s so significant about the Cross? And the words, FOLLOW ME.
What is a Disciple?
What is a disciple? That’s easy right? A disciple was one of the those guys who followed Christ around. Right. That would’ve been my answer too. I used to think that a disciple was just the title given to the 12 men who follow Jesus;. Peter, Andrew, James, John, Matthew, Simon, Judas, the other Judas, Bartholomew, the other James, Thomas, Philip. Those guys were the disciples.
But what is a disciple?
A disciple is a learner, a student of a teacher or teaching. Being a disciple is more than just sitting in class and learning some stuff. Being a disciple is living what you are learning, absorbing everything the teach has to saying, watching everything the teacher does, taking notes of every aspect of a teachers life, until the teacher says, you have learned everything there is to know, I can no longer teach you anything else. Basically, you become a clone of the teacher.
Friends are you a disciple of Jesus Christ? Don’t answer too quickly! Think about it for a second. I’m not asking if you are a Christian, I want to know if you are a disciple. There a difference, a huge difference.
John MacAuthur says that anyone can believe in Jesus and BE a Christian. He says, “a person becomes a believer at salvation; he becomes a disciple later, when he moves past faith to obedience.”
What’s that mean?
It means that we have to move beyond the place of just believing in Jesus. A disciple is one who is in the process of becoming more and more like Christ; our image reflecting his image, our glory reflecting his glory.
* The Change, is an excerpt from the current teaching series by Jay Higham, at Harvest Church. This week Jay will be post the written version of our weekend message here on the blog. And please check out the Harvest Church website at www.HarvestChurchToday.org.