Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection
Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Its not easy to keep an eye on Jesus in our lives. This morning, we heard from Romans 2:1-2 in worship about “fixing our eyes on Jesus” and the challenges that brings with everything that can distract us and take our focus away. None of us are immune to this. This passage is very challenging in that it reminds us that following Jesus is not an easy choice. The Luke version of this same teaching is the one that adds a word, “Daily” Take up your cross, not just once, not just once a week, once a month, once a year, but daily. While our salvation is a gift that God offers to us, the act of following and living this out is a daily choice. In fact its more than a daily choice – it feels often like a moment-by-moment choice. And in those moments are all the other things that we have before us. Now, I don’t feel its always an either/or (although sometimes it is) – often its a both/and – how do we follow Jesus in the midst of our work, our play, our families, our schools, when we’re at the grocery store, on the highway, watching TV, browsing the internet, and so forth. Take up your cross…moment by moment…follow.