Tag Archives: cross-bearing

“Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.  And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”  (Luke 14:25-27, NIV)

A disciple is a follower.  A disciple aspires to be exactly like his or her teacher.  As Jesus is Truth, we must be scrupulously truthful — and everything else He is, including a cross-bearer.  Anything less is not true discipleship.  Anything else is not obedience.

A disciple is holy.  The disciple’s holiness is measured in the points of similarity to his or her teacher; and in the degree of difference from the “common way” in his or her way of thinking (e. g. love for enemies, blessings for curses, concern for the poor, readiness to reconcile, etc. . .).

Today’s scripture takes us to the bedrock of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus: Holiness, obedience, and cross-bearing.  – Luther

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“After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.  About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.”  (Acts 16:23-25, NIV)

D. L. Moody (1837-1899), the noted 19th Century evangelist, said: “Out of 100 men, one will read the Bible, the other 99 will read the Christian.”

His words are as true today as when Moody spoke them more than 100 years ago; or as they were nearly 2,000 years ago when Paul and Silas were thrown — bloody and sore from a severe beating — into prison, and their feet were put into the stocks.  Theirs was a utterly miserable and hopeless situation, but Silas and Paul did not allow an adverse situation to provoke from them an adverse response.  They responded by praying and singing hymns to God!

Then, as now, the world watches the Christian in his or her adversity.  Will he curse or will he bless?   Will she complain or will she encourage?

As Moody said, only one person in 100 will have read the God’s word.   When the other 99 read you — the representative of God nearest to them — what do they learn?  – Luther

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