“And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
What did Jesus mean by that? I’ve heard people use this in a lot of different ways. Sometimes they’ll use this term in talking about an ongoing illness, or even their spouse.
“That’s my cross that I have to bear.”
Is that what it’s all about? I don’t think so. Carrying a cross is a sign that you’re about to die. Very soon you’re going to be laying down your life.
In the next few verses in Luke (verses 28-32), Jesus talks about counting the cost of becoming His disciple. He doesn’t make it sound easy.
It’s like a contractor determining the cost of a building before he starts the construction. You wouldn’t build the foundation only to realize that you don’t have the funds to complete it.
Jesus also said that it’s like a king who’s at war. He must come to a decision as to whether or not he can hold off the force that’s coming against him. If not, he must seek terms for peace before the fighting starts.
After giving these examples, the Lord comes to a conclusion.
“In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”
That’s what carrying your cross means. It’s giving yourself as a gift to God. We have to realize that a gift gives up all of its rights.
That’s why Jesus went on to say…
“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Back when this was written, salt had a higher percentage of impurities than we have today. If it got wet, the actual salt would wash out and you were left with the dirt. You wouldn’t want to use that on your food.
In the same way, there are believers who want to serve God. But at the same time they want to retain their rights to determine what they want to do or not do. That doesn’t work out too well in the Kingdom of God. It’s like putting dirt on your sandwich.
As a matter of fact, most fights and disagreements start over a perceived violation of our personal rights. Living for Christ requires a whole different mindset.
We must give up our wants and desires, as good and noble as they may be. In their place we take on God’s great purpose for our lives. That’s how we will step into the destiny we were created for.
Question: What has God called you to accomplish for Him?
© Nick Zaccardi 2016