The Gospel of Luke

This devotional is written by Kate Jones. Kate Vincent Jones is a Biomedical Engineer in Cardiac Electrophysiology fixing broken hearts across UK hospitals by day.... by night she likes hosting and styling events, making spaces beautiful 

Luke 9: 18-27

Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah

18 Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, ‘Who do the crowds say I am?'

19 They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.'

20 ‘But what about you?' he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?'

Peter answered, ‘God's Messiah.'

Jesus predicts his death
21 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. 22 And he said, ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.'

23 Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

27 ‘Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.'

Reflection

If you're like me you've heard this passage quoted before. I find in those instances I have to take a step back to strip back a new meaning. To "take up ones cross" and to "lose my life", what does that mean for me today?

Here we see Jesus foreshadowing what is to come and describing details of the prophesies he knew he was going to fulfil. I find it interesting in the same paragraph that talks about his true identity as the messiah, he talks about our identity trap many of us can find ourselves in even today.

Trying to gain the whole world and forfeiting ourselves, what does that mean? Today this speaks to my need to feel secure and in control and ahead of life's adventures. In a way my current plan and future plan is to gain a little bit, juuust enough, of that world to feel like I have what I need. But in this analogy I am guaranteed to forfeit in some way as I can never be sure and certain of my own accomplishments or gains.

Jesus says to deny ourselves and to carry the cross and follow him. It's clear to us that carrying a cross is linked to the story of Jesus's death and resurrection, but that had yet to happen in this story. I wonder what the disciples would have thought by that word choice. I imagine that they associated cross carrying with shameful and humbling performative acts that criminals were made to do. How strange then that their Messiah was asking that of them. They'd seen healings and proclamations of Gods power but now they were being told the only way to live was to deny themselves and carry a cross, walk in lowly pain and shame carrying a burden?

Little did they know that by "carrying a cross", pursuing intimacy and dependence on Jesus, publicly and unashamed, they were following Jesus into his resurrection.



Are there ways where you find your inner self wanting to gain the world and cling on to self strength? Are there ways you could follow Jesus in humility and weakness, in open vulnerability not ashamed of his truth and the gospel and believing for provision and resurrection?

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