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.”
Food For Thought:
This passage of Scripture contains one of the most challenging lines in all of Scripture. It says, “If any want to become my (Jesus’) 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.” What do you think it means to take up your cross? How do you lose yourself for others? What are some of the most important attributes of a follower of Jesus?
God of the covenant, you call us to be fruitful servants within creation, and to offer our lives as the foundation of your realm. We lay before you the desires of our hearts, that we may be transformed by their fulfillment. Guide us as we seek to be faithful in word and deed. In your holy name we pray, Amen.