Home > Christ, disciple, spiritual journey > He Wants It All

He Wants It All

And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:27 (NIV)

Since I was a child I always had a picture of me dragging a cross around for the rest my life in order to follow Jesus. This did not sound comfortable and I’m sure my teacher didn’t mean to leave that impression, but that is what I believed. Maybe it was because of some bad teaching I experienced, but I believe Luke had something else in mind when he wrote that. I knew that following Christ would be burdensome and difficult, but somewhere in the mix I was definitely missing the point.
Our society, Christian and secular, have commercialized the cross. It has become a symbol that represents “religion” and not necessarily the lifestyle that Luke was eluding to. In Jesus’ day the cross represented shame. You would not want to tell anyone that a family member was crucified. Crucifixion was reserved for criminals. The fact that Jesus was crucified with other criminals shows you what they really thought of Jesus. So basically you would not want anything to do with the cross.

I find it interesting that Jesus would tell people that if they wanted to follow Him that they would need to pick up their cross in order to be his disciple. What was He thinking? Did He not know that statement had the potential of turning off everyone who heard it. I struggled with this passage a bit and have come to this conclusion. In order for me to follow Christ I will need to do it with everything I have even the areas of my life that were dirty and shameful. I have known people (and at times have been the person) who only wanted to present God the positive things in my life. I figured that if I gave Him good stuff to work with then He could use me. The problems is that Jesus already knows all the shameful things about us. Until recently I did not realize that the things that have brought me the most shame in my life are the things that He can use to His glory. When we can share our struggles with others and how Christ is helping us overcome them then true discipling is possible. Those shames can be turned to strengths when they are given to the Great Physician who knows how to heal every illness. This is what allows us to “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need “(Heb. 4:16). I get excited just thinking about this process.

Are you ready to give it all to Him?
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