"He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.'” – Mark 8:34 NASB
Crowds gathered to hear Jesus. Convinced He was a wise man, many were eager to hear Him teach, or see Him perform miracles. But how many really believed that He was the Son of God?
Jesus knew many would “fall away,” and stop following (Matthew 26:31). Even His disciples failed to understand. He explained that He would “suffer many things.” He would be rejected and killed, and “after three days rise again” (v. 31). But they didn’t understand. Peter even rebuked Him for this teaching.
But Jesus responded, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s” (v. 33). Then Jesus taught a fundamental truth: No one even could come after Him unless they denied themselves, took up their cross, and followed Him.
Jesus was providing a gateway to growing in faith, understanding spiritual truths, living in victory, and havingba transforming Christian life.
Many say they are Christians but do not pass this test. They assume they can follow Jesus but live like the world. But in every circumstance, Jesus calls us to take the narrow road, to lay everything aside and follow Him, wherever He leads.
God wants you to find meaning and fulfillment. He will take away your fears and worries. He wants you to overflow with joy and live in victory! The path is to deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Him.
PrayerDear Lord Jesus, I will take up my cross and follow You. Help me live for You and serve You. In Your name, amen.
Extended ReadingMark 8