We should try to understand and accept that discipleship means forsaking all selfish personal ambition and know that every true disciple must take up his cross. Jesus calls His disciples to go to people of all nations and teach them how to know Him and live for Him. Trust that God will give you the wisdom and words you need when facing opposition to the Good News. We don’t have to go far to find people who need Christ, so don’t think you have to go to Africa or somewhere far far away to show true discipleship. There are people right here where we live that need Him. They are our neighbors, people we meet in stores and on the street. We go wherever God leads us.
You should also recognize and anticipate that personal discipleship and commitment to Jesus can result in division and rejection, and you should know for certain that Jesus calls us to be more loyal to Him than to any other human being. Try to understand that discipleship means submitting your own interests in favor of God’s. Remember that if the world hates you, it hated Him first.
CHRISTLIKENESS is growing in the likeness of Christ and it requires that we take up our cross daily. It regularly confronts the human insistence on our own will, way, and wants. Even as Jesus laid down His life for us, He invites us to lay down our for His. It is not an equal exchange. He died to do for us what we could never do for ourselves, to save us and give us eternal life. But when we sacrifice for Him, that opens the way for His life to reveal even more of the glory of His way and will, to discover new dimensions of eternal love and liberty that bring freedom from bondage to our self-life.
Reference Bible Verses
Matthew 10:17-20, 17. Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20. for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Matthew 10:34-36 New International Version (NIV)
34. “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35. For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.
In Matthew 10:34–36, Jesus said He had come at this time not to bring peace to the earth, but a sword, a weapon which divides and severs. As a result of His visit to the earth, some children would be set against parents and a man’s enemies might be those within his own household. This is because many who choose to follow Christ are hated by their family members. This may be part of the cost of discipleship, for love of family should not be greater than love for the Lord. A true disciple must take up his cross and follow Jesus
Luke 12:51-53 English Standard Version (ESV) 51. Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. 53. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
Matthew 10:37-39 English Standard Version (ESV) 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Luke 14:26-27 English Standard Version (ESV) 26. “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
This is the point of the passage. In order to be a disciple, we must be willing to give up everything for Jesus. Therefore, if our parents will not follow Jesus, or even if they disown us for being Christians, we must still choose Him over them. It is in this sense that we are “hating” our family members who reject the Lord or reject us because of the Lord. This is not easy, and of course it is right that we should love our family members and want our family members to love and follow God. 1 John 4:7-8 says “Beloved, let us love one another for love is from God and everyone that loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God for God is love.”So, despite our love for the people we know, here is the key: if they don’t love Jesus, He must still be our first priority.
Matthew 16:24-26 New International Version (NIV) 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25. For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
Mark 8:34-36 New International Version (NIV)
The Way of the Cross 34. Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35. For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
Luke 9:23-25 English Standard Version (ESV)
Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus 23. And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?
Matthew 28:18-20 New International Version (NIV) 18. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20. and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”