“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”
Ya know? This verse isn’t complicated. But how much time is spent trying to find a loophole! God isn’t the I.R.S.! (or vice versa). Why must we tear it apart?
God had important things to say—so important, in fact, He showed up in Person. Is it really prudent, then, to brush the Words into a dustpan marked “Somebody Else”?
When people hear this verse, the world-bound brain changes it conveniently: “Real Christians don’t abuse small children.” Or maybe, “You will be blessed if you don’t smoke crack heroin.”
Instead of loopholes, how about the converse? To come after Him… deny ourselves… it’s not comparison with others; He calls us to legitimate introspection.
By the way, it’s no accident that He adds, “take up his cross daily”.
But wait! There’s more! He makes it even more special: “and follow Me.”
I mean. Wow.
“You mean I need to stop hating those nasty #!*$%!”…?”
“I have to listen to that idiot clueless loser?
“I have to reason things out with those who don’t agree with my opinions?
“I have to tolerate arrogant and stupid people?”
Dude. You do.
“I even have to forgive people who… hurt my kids?”
Yes, you do.
(That one especially. God does. Think about it.)
There is so much in this one little verse. If we want the Savior, we must: Daily. Begin. Again. Re-think what we thought yesterday. Let me tell you, this “daily” thing is legit: in my 30-plus years coming after Him, there have been daily deflations, and occasional MAJOR overhauls. Some of these “cross-taking-ups” called for the kind of apologies that the human mind deems impossible.
Nothing is impossible with God.
That’s how He rolls.