So now we are down to the real issue. Jesus has laid out the case for what it takes to follow Him (Mark 8:34-37).
Calling the crowd along with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me and the good news will save it. For what does it benefit someone to gain the whole world and yet lose his life? What can anyone give in exchange for his life?’
It is all about Jesus and not about me. I must sacrifice my selfish ways and submit to Jesus as my Master.
Am I proud of my relationship with Jesus and who He is? Am I ashamed and embarrassed?
“If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I’m leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you’ll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels.” ~Jesus
Source: Mark 8:38 (The Message Bible)
I should assess myself. Take a typical day.
- How am I doing?
- When I have a chance to “stick up” for Jesus and His Way, do I?
- Or do I decide to just let it go, not rock the boat?
This is real. In most companies, you won’t climb anywhere if you stand up for Jesus. In fact, you probably won’t have a job at all if you do. Jesus alerts us that following Him will likely cause us to be persecuted and that even our families will turn on us.
So, what’s the big deal? This is it. There is a judgement day coming. I will stand before Jesus. Justice will be served.
- If I’m embarrassed of Him, He is going to be embarrassed of me.
- I can go onto eternal life with Him or suffer eternity in Hell.
- I don’t want to hear this from Jesus (Matthew 23:33) “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?”
- Or this (Matthew 25:41): “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Jesus is serious. Jesus is not playing around.
Let us join with the Apostle Paul in saying (2 Timothy 1:12)
For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.