The Cost of Discipleship 1

Today's Bible reading: Matthew 16:24-28

Matthew 16:24–28 is a passage that illustrates perfectly the truth that discipleship is no easy way to glory.  Jesus has just announced that His own path to the glory of the resurrection must first lead to the cross.  Without a cross there can be no true glory; and that is true also for anyone who wants to be a follower of Jesus.  This means self-denial, to the point of losing one’s old self.  Becoming a child of God is not a matter of patching up a few faults, or making some slight alterations or modifications.  Here also one cannot put new wine into old wine skins … new cloth onto old.  No, it’s a matter of making a new start … of the loss of the old life which has been lived for self … of the pursuit of material things, honor, and so on.  The tragedy is that you could gain the whole world - so to speak - but lose your own self before God's judgment throne.  Those who follow Jesus may lose all earthly security, but they know that true glory awaits them when Jesus returns with His angels.

Prayer: Gracious Lord, thank you for being willing to suffer and die that we might be forgiven. Lead us to speak your Word a right and give us the will and strength to take up the cross and follow you to life eternal; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.