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Pearls of the Kingdom 4/10/24

Updated: Apr 17

Lets look at this portion of scripture today:

Luke 9:21-27 “And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.”

We find Jesus talking with the disciples, sharing that he would suffer many things, be rejected by the religious leaders, would die and be raised on the third day. Jesus flows right into the next conversation speaking to others adding, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

Jesus extends an invitation not just to the disciples, to a select few, but to everyone, anyone to follow Him.

I use words like, “Christ Follower” or ‘Follower of Christ” when talking about the faith journey of a Christian. So I find myself challenged more, by these words of Jesus today. Words like deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow me. 

I'm asking the question, "What does it look like to be a follower of Jesus?”

* Lets look at this word, Deny. Here we find the Greek word arneomai. This word has two possible meaning to consider. 

1. To deny that you have knowledge, know someone. You have no connection too, no acquaintance with someone. We find this in Luke speaking of Peter.

Luke 22:34 “Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

2. Forget one’s self, lose sight of one’s self, one’s own interest. I sense this verse in Galatians speaks to this. 

Gal 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

* Interesting that it is “my cross” that I must carry. I must believe that my cross is different than your cross. Not a cross to take up once in awhile, some times, but a cross to take up daily. For me the cross speaks to a place of death. More specific the death of “my sin, my flesh, my will.” 

Rom 6:6 “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

Gal 5:24 “And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”

* What does it look like to follow? It means that I am not the leader. I follow the one who precedes me, goes before me. 

Jn 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

Jn 12:26 “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.”


“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer (martyr)

Understanding, what does this look like for me, what does this require of me, to come and follow Jesus. What does this look like for you? What does this require of you to follow Jesus?

Pastor Jeff

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