A True Disciple of Jesus Christ
To be a true disciple of Jesus Christ requires dedication and sacrifice. We must deny ourselves and make room for Him in our lives, no matter what it costs us. To bear our cross means to accept hardship, put aside our selfish desires, and show love and compassion. We must also be willing to give up all material possessions if He asks it of us. Anyone who does not prioritize Jesus in their life and puts other things in His place cannot be His disciple. Being a disciple isn't easy, but it is worth the effort, for it is through obedience that we can become closer to our Heavenly Father. With dedication and faith, anyone can become a true follower of Jesus Christ.
If anyone wanted to be a disciple of Jesus, he made it clear that there were three things they must do: Deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow him. This was so crucial to the life of discipleship that it is recorded in three of the gospels: Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, and Luke 9:23. By denying themselves, Jesus was teaching his disciples to put God and His will first in their lives and reject the world’s values. Taking up one's cross meant living a life of sacrificial love and obedience, even if it cost them much or led to suffering or persecution. And following Jesus meant walking with Him and His teachings as the primary guide in life and decision-making.
In other words, Jesus was calling his disciples to a new way of living, one focused on courage, self-sacrifice, and obedience to God's will rather than following the ways of the world. What an incredible call to holiness and faithfulness! As we strive to follow Jesus, may we be reminded of these words and strive to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him.
In Luke 14, Jesus is not saying that we should hate ourselves or our loved ones. Instead, He is asking us to love Him more than anything else and even more than our own families. For example, if your family members are trying to take you away from living a life of faith in Jesus Christ, then you must choose to follow Jesus instead of them. We need to look past our earthly attachments and relationships and prioritize our relationship with God above all else.
Matthew 10:37-38 further clarifies Jesus' point by saying that if someone loves their father or mother more than him then they are not worthy of being His disciple. Jesus wants us to love him more than anything else, and that's what we should strive for. We must put Him first before anyone or anything else.
Then, and only then, can we truly follow Him faithfully and humbly bear our own crosses with joy. Taking up one’s cross means embracing the challenges and difficulties associated with walking with Jesus on the path of righteousness. As followers of Christ, we are expected to make sacrifices for His sake. It can be difficult at times to make such an intense commitment, but those who do so out of love for Jesus will reap great rewards both now and in eternity.
Let us all strive to be true disciples of Christ and bear our own crosses with joy and perseverance!
The word forsaketh used in Luke 14:33 comes from the Greek word ajpotavssw (ap-ot-as'-som-ahee) which translates to set apart or separate from.
The call to forsake all that we have is a difficult one, but it is essential in order for us to be true followers of Jesus. This means we must be willing to let go of anything and everything that might stand between us and our relationship with Him. We must put aside our desires, opinions, and even our own families if they cause a division between us and the Lord.
In Luke 14:33, Jesus is asking us to separate ourselves from anything that might draw us away from His will and free us up to serve Him with all our hearts. When we make the decision to do this, we are saying yes to a life of obedience, joy, and true discipleship. We can find strength in knowing that God Himself understands how hard it is for us to sacrifice everything for Him and He will give us grace when we need it most. Ultimately, if we want to be true followers of Jesus Christ, then we must be willing to forsake everything in order to become His humble disciples.
In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus tells a parable about a rich young ruler who followed all the laws but placed his possessions above following Jesus. In response to this, Jesus told him to sell all his possessions and distribute them to the poor as a way of showing that he was truly willing to put God first in his life.
However, this request was too much for the rich ruler, and he became sad and went away grieving because he did not want to give up all that he had acquired. This parable does not mean that we are not allowed own possessions or be wealthy, but rather it serves as a reminder that our relationship with God should take precedence over material things. We must be willing to be generous and put God at the center of our lives.
In essence, Jesus is asking us to give up our attachments to material things and follow him with a spirit of love and generosity. He wants us to remember that everything we have comes from him, and so if we are truly devoted to Him then giving away what we have is a small price to pay for an eternity in His presence. The ultimate goal should be not just following the law but building a real relationship with God through obedience, humility, and sacrifice. That is how we will find true peace and joy in this life as well as eternal life beyond it.
This parable also serves as a reminder that wealth should never become an end in itself, but always a means to an end. We should use our wealth and resources to serve God with humility and compassion so that we can be examples of His love. To put it simply, Jesus is asking us to make Him the priority in life and seek true faith rather than clinging to material possessions. He wants us to trust in Him and never be afraid to give up what we have for His sake.
Ultimately, this parable teaches us that if we are willing to surrender our attachments and follow Christ with open hearts then we will find true joy, peace, and eternal life. Though it may seem difficult or impossible at first, once you follow his path you will understand how much richer your life can become when you place God first and that is a true blessing.