Discipleship: Dead Man Walking

“And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27)

Remember, Jesus said this before he died on the cross, before any of his followers knew he was going to die on the cross. His second requirement to follow him as a disciple must have sounded as shocking as the first one about hating your family.

disciples_350The large crowd knew all about Roman crucifixion. They’d seen plenty of them. Victims of crucifixion were forced to carry their own crosses as a form of confession. To show that Rome was right in its judgement, they participated in carrying out the sentence on themselves (whether they liked it or not).

Jesus told would-be disciples they must show their complete surrender to God by fully and freely participating in “losing their lives.” (Matthew 10:39) These followers would have to be willing to walk away from every personal dream and agenda and set out on whatever trail he marked for them to find a new life.

Hard, hard stuff.

Think: Why do you think Jesus used such harsh language about hate for family and Roman execution to describe the commitment to be his disciple? Do you think he was looking to get a lot of commitments or just a few?

Pray: Ask God to help you know if you’re holding anything back when it comes to “losing your life” for Christ. Ask him for the courage to fully commit yourself to the path he’s calling you to.

Do: Make a quick list of some of the personal plans and dreams you might have to put on the table as expendable if you fully committed to living as Christ’s disciple.