- As if it wasn’t hard enough for the disciples to hear that their Messiah would suffer and die, now Jesus says that they will ALSO meet the same fate!
- When the Romans crucified slaves and criminals, they used to let these condemned people carry their own cross on the way to the place of execution.
- To “take up one’s cross” every day does not mean to wear a necklace with a cross on it, but to have the intention to serve Jesus 100% every day, despite the possible shame this may bring.
- To “deny oneself” every day means to put God first in everything and to live to help other people.
- Had Jesus not gone ahead and shown the way by actually carrying his cross and lovingly sacrificing himself and dying on the cross of Calvary, we followers of Jesus would probably have had a hard time doing the same.
- The leader in God’s kingdom has a great responsibility to lead the way, by becoming not a boss who dominates other people but a servant who serves God’s people.
- In order for a seed to become a fruit-bearing tree, it must first be buried in the soil. It then dies as a seed but is reborn as a tree. In the same way, we humans cannot receive eternal heavenly life unless we first die to ourselves. But whoever believes in Jesus is born again of the Holy Spirit and receives eternal life.
- In order for a caterpillar to become a butterfly, it must first “die” as a caterpillar, and be reborn as a butterfly. For a “carnal” man to become a “spiritual” man, the carnal must first die and the spiritual be born.
- Those who live selfishly for themselves at the expense of others become lonely and unhappy, while those who live for other people have a life filled with love for and from other people.
- For example, being ashamed of a person means not wanting to be seen in public with that person. In this context, it means not wanting people to know that you are a Christian. You don’t want to tell people about your faith or have it show in your life.
- If you are ashamed of Jesus and of being a Christian in this way, you distance yourself from Jesus and the Christian faith and distance yourself from salvation.
- On the contrary, one should be proud of Jesus and of being a Christian. A proud person tells how good Jesus is, testifies to his own faith in Jesus and tries to live a Christian life as best he can. A person who is proud of Jesus lives in an “anointed” way that shows that he or she is born again and belongs to the kingdom of God.