Luke 9:23 - Living For Eternity.
Luke 9:23 - Living For Eternity.
Luke 9:23 (KJV)
If any man will come after me,
let him deny himself,
and take up his cross daily,
and follow me.
To deny oneself is not a call to a colorless life. Rather, it
is a call to deny the baser nature and pursue the higher spiritual
levels of living to which Jesus points. [Annotated SB]
An entire sacrifice of the lower life, or a willingness to make
such a sacrifice, is indispensable to the preservation of the higher
life. The man who cannot bring himself to surrender the one for the
sake of the other will eventually lose both. [Jamieson, Fausset, And
God wants to bring you into union with Himself, but unless you
are willing to give up your right to yourself, He cannot. "...let
him deny himself...." Then the real life-the spiritual life-is
allowed the opportunity to grow. [In His Time; My Utmost For His Highest
The cross was well known as an instrument of death, so it
represents here the death or separation from the old life that must mark a
disciple. [Ryrie SB]
Calvary's cross was God's will for Jesus, so our "cross" is
whatever God's will for us is each day. That will may involve pain, but
often involves joy. There may be tears, but our cross also carries
shouts and singing. The one thing that we can be sure of, however, is
that our cross calls us to daily choose God's will in preference to
our own, and thus demands the most significant kind of self-denial.
[The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
To follow Christ faithfully, the Christian disciple must give up
self-interest and die to the sin of disobedience. Failure to follow Christ in
daily obedience reveals that Christ is not Lord. Such failure is sin.
To follow Jesus requires self-denial, complete dedication and
willing obedience. [NIV SB]
Jesus demanded the consecration of the whole man to his cause.
[Wycliffe Bible Commentary]
Jesus' disciples are not to use their lives on earth for their
own pleasure--they should spend their lives serving God and people.
[Life Application SB]
The Christian must realize that he is given life, not to keep
for himself but to spend for others; not to husband its flame but to
burn it out for Christ and for men. [Barclay Commentary]
Salvation is God's gift to us because Jesus died for us on the
cross. Discipleship is our gift to Him as we take up our cross, die to
self, and follow the Lord in everything. [Wiersbe Expository
Jesus places mankind in two categories: those who follow Him
and those who do not. Those who follow Him are in the minority and
must struggle against the current of our time in order to be obedient
to Him. The Lord calls His followers to a life of selflessness;
the world encourages each to get all that he can. The Lord calls
His followers to a life of patient waiting; the world urges
immediate gratification. The Lord calls His followers to labor for the
kingdom; the world strives for bigger, better, and the most now. What do
you do more than others? Are you more selfless or selfish? Are you
waiting or striving? Does what you do have eternal or temporal
significance? Think about it! [In His Time; Walk With Wisdom re Mat.5:47]
Follow Me (v. 23). The Living Bible renders this beautifully and
well: "Keep close to Me."
How can you and I ever find the strength to reject the old in
us, and decide daily to do God's will? By ourselves, we can't. But
we have Jesus' invitation, "Keep close to Me."
Jesus does not invite us to a "by-rule" way of life. Jesus
invites us to personal relationship. As we do keep close to Christ, He
encourages us and enables us. Jesus provides the power we need to live
triumphantly, and to grow in that new life which, ultimately, is His.
This, then, is both the way and the necessity of discipleship.
To be or not to be disciples is the choice we face: on it hinges
the finding or losing of our new selves. We can be disciples as we
deny the old in us, choose God's will daily, and follow close to
Christ. [Victor Teacher's Commentary]
This is our destiny. We are to be like God throughout eternity,
and, in this world, to become more and more like Him all the time. .
. We can choose to live the old way, by the values and motives
that move men in this world. We can live the old life, and let the
new remain unnourished, buried deep within us. If we do so choose,
what we lose is ourselves, our experience on this earth of the person
we could have been. . . .Will you lose your old life, or are you
determined to hold tightly to it, to try and save your "self"? Or will you
let go, turn away from the old for Jesus' sake, and in so doing
become the new, the true, you? [Victor Teacher's Commentary]
You and I, warped as we have been by sin, are given the choice
of holding on to the old self, or by complete commitment to God,
experiencing a transformation that will make us loving, beautiful, and new.
If we choose to reject the will of God, and hang onto the old self,
we lose. But if we choose to reject our old self, and do the will
of God, we win. And our prize is the new self Jesus will help us
become. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]