Conditions for Christian Discipleship Mark 8:34-38
Crowds were following Jesus with different intentions. So Jesus called the crowd along with his disciples and is explaining to them what it means to be a disciple. He is giving them a choice. IF they wanted to follow Him, they must do the following.
A. IF anyone would follow Jesus… Mk.8:34.
a. He MUST DENY himself.
We are to deny that we own ourselves. We do not have the right to decide what we are going to do or where we are going to go, or what we are going to eat..… Now onwards, let Jesus decides.
A person joining the army surrender his right to decide for himself. He will obey his commander in everything. If not, he is not fit for army life. Similarly, the Master decide what the disciple will do.
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters- yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple”. Luke 14:26,27. A vivid hyperbole, meaning that one must love Jesus even more than his immediate family or beyond anything.
b. He MUST TAKE UP his CROSS
The cross was an instrument of death and here symbolises the necessity of total commitment -even unto death – on the part of Jesus’ disciples. Jesus carried His cross and died for us. Those who follow Him also must be willing to carry his cross to follow Jesus.The cross stood for something in the life of Jesus connected with shame and humiliation. If we are going to be a disciple of Jesus, we are not to be offended by ill-treatment, insults, never to react, respond..
c. He MUST FOLLOW JESUS.
Willing to obey anything and everything which Jesus says. This is a. continuous process till we die.
B. Life- loosing or saving? Mk.8:3
a. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it. Mk.8:35a. Saving his life- making our life complete, full, rich.. Asking in any situation, what do I get?
b. Whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. Mk.8:35b.
Disregarding all personal advantages in any situation and move out in dependence upon God, careless about what may happen to me.
Abraham obeyed God, went out into a land he knew not where, apparently careless of what would happen to him.
C. Gaining the whole world but loosing his soul? Mk.8:36
What is the most important thing in our life? Are we running after temporal things in this world or after permanent things in eternity? What are our highest ambitions? What are our main goals in life? What possessions are we seeking to acquire?
There is nothing in this world which we can exchange our soul for. Mt.8:37.
D. Ashamed or proud about Jesus?
“..If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” Mt.8:38
“…Whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven..” Mt.10:33
Am I following Jesus, by denying myself and taking my cross daily?
Am I willing to lose my life for Jesus and for His Kingdom?
What is my greatest goal or achievement in life?
Am I ashamed about Jesus and His ministry?
How do others know that I am proud about Jesus?