The Cost of Following Christ
Mark 8:34-9:1
Bearing the name of Jesus is bearing the hardship to come along with it.
Published February 20th, 2021
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Main point summary
Main point summary
if you want to follow Christ,you must deny yourself,take up your cross then follow him.
Mark 8:34-9:1
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them,
and Jesus calls the crowd with his disciples and he said to them,
“If anyone would come after me,
" if anyone would come to follow me,
let him c deny himself
then he must deny his own self first
and d take up his cross
take up his own cross(sufferings)
and follow me.
then follow me.
For d whoever would save his life 1
because if someone would try to save his life
will lose it,
then he will fail to save his life,
but whoever loses his life for my sake e and the gospel’s
but,if someone loses his own life for my sake and of the gospel
will save it.
then that person will save his own life.
f For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world
because there is no profit for a man to gain the whole world
and forfeit his soul?
if he forfeit his own soul
For g what can a man give in return for his soul?
because man cannot give something in return for his soul
For h whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this i adulterous and sinful generation,
because if someone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation,
of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed
then the Son of Man will also be ashamed of that person
j when he comes in the glory of his Father with k the holy angels.”
when he comes back in the glory of the Father along with his angels.
And he said to them,
And[then] he said to them,
“Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not l taste death
Truly i say to you,there are some standing here who will not die
m until they see the kingdom of God after it has come n with power.”
till the time when the kingdom of God come with power.
gives grounds by giving positive why did Jesus said that those who want to follow him must deny himself and take up his cross ? because if you want to save your life,you will lose it. And if you try to lose it,not for the sake of the world but for the sake of Jesus and the gospel,then you will gain it.
What does it take to follow Christ? What does it mean to deny yourself? What does it mean to take up your cross? Lets start by looking at the relationships of the text.According to my arc what i do is an Action-Manner and not Series,now Why? instead of taking it as a series we can see a more further interpretation there,its not just stating two distinct ways,like "deny" first and "take up or pick up",but rather there is an action and the manner the action is done.We can see it like this "deny himself" is the action,"by taking up his cross"is the manner. why did i say so? because if we back read in verse 31 to 33 we can see that these verses is showing us hints from what Jesus says,from the foretelling,to the tone in verse 32,up to the exchange of rebukes,we can see hints to understand verse 34 as action manner. First is the Action part,"the denying" somehow we can see when Jesus is rebuked by Peter about his foretelling in verse 31-33,although not directly mentioned,but somehow we can see that there is a "denial".When Jesus rebuke Peter,there we can somehow see that Jesus denying his own life.Now what does denying means?and What is the sense of denying that we are talking about in verse 34c? as i search,i see only two definitions of the word deny,1.) is the refusal to admit a certain fact or truth and,2.)the refusal to give or grant( something requested or desired) to (someone).If we are to take the first definition of "deny" to make sense of verse 34 i think it would not make sense because verse 34 is not trying to refuse a fact or truth,flowing from verse 31-33,because in verse 31-33,Jesus is not denying himself in a sense of his existence,nor his diety,in short he is not denying facts about him .Therefore the definition of "deny" we are talking about is the number 2 definition,to make sense,lets us go to Mark 14:32-42,there we can see that even Jesus prayed to God that the cup be taken away from him,but he says not his will but the Father's will be done.Now we go back in verse 31-33,Peter is trying to save Jesus,but Jesus refuse,deprive,deny his own comfort for the sake of his very goal why he came to the world. And another outside our text,in Philippians 2:4-8,where the text says,Jesus emptied himself by taking a form of a servant........and become obedient even to the point of death.We can see there that Jesus deny or deprived himself of his previleges. So the meaning of denying there is not denying a truth or fact ,but something desired. Now the Manner part,"take up his cross".When we read verse 34d that says "take up his cross" is it literal?are we to take our own crosses and walk down the streets?Yes we know Jesus our Lord take up his own cross,is that what verse 34d means?its not literally taking up your own crosses,its a figure of speech,now why? because,again,as we read 31-33,its not talking about literal taking up crosses,though some of the apostles being crucified,like Peter,but its not. If we relate verse 34d to verse 31 about Jesus foretelling of his death on the cross,somehow,we can derive that it is literally "take up your cross",but verse 34 is in relation to verse 33,about what is Peter's response to what Jesus said.Jesus is willing to suffer,we can say willing because when we read verse 32 the tone,as if it is normal to happen and Peter is trying to save him,so Jesus rebuke him.Therefore in relation to what Peter has done,Jesus says in verse 34,if you are to follow me then you have take up your own cross,you must be willing to suffer is not literal taking up your cross,but you must be ready and willing to suffer hardships. continuing to verse 34e,as a progression,the moment we are able to deny ourselves and take up our crosses is when we are able to follow him.
Mark gives further reason why. because theres no gain in gaining the world if you forfeit your soul because you cant give in return for your soul. *what is the meaning of forfeit? *why we cant give in return for our soul if we forfeit it?
2 Timothy 2:12 ......if we deny him,he will deny us
why did Jesus said that we should deny and take up our cross first before we follow him? we will remember the parable of the sower. seek first the kingdom of God if we say we will follow Christ yet we value our lives all the more,were not really following Christ we are denying him.
1 Cor 7:31
TO FOLLOW JESUS CHRIST INTRODUCTION Denying oneself,Take up you own cross,losing lives,hard truths from our text to study but still we need to know and understand and be reminded always,what does it really mean to follow Jesus Christ? so join me to this short explanation/study of Mark 8:34-38 - 9:1 The Commmand A.Deny yourself There is a command in verse 34,"deny himself" what does it mean ?it can be of different sense,but first what is the meaning of the word "deny". As i search for the meaning of the word "deny" i see two meanings(there are different definition but flowing from these two):1.)the refusal of a fact,2.)to refuse to grant or give something or someone. •As we read verse 34,in a sense of refusing a fact,flowing from verse 31-33,what does the "deny himself" there means?is it denying his own self,meaning his identity? (and most of the passage that contains the word "deny", in ESV,NASB,NET,the sense of what they are saying is refusing the knowledge of something.) •Now if we look at the second definition,if we read verse 34,in a sense of refusing to grant something,in relation with verse 31-33,it would seem that Jesus is saying that something must be refused to have in order to follow him. If we read verse 31-33,Jesus is telling that he is to suffer and to die,its not refusing something about himself,his identity as the Son of God or Son of Man,so the first definition wont work,rather the second,Jesus is denying his own life,meaning, he is willing to lay down his life.He denied himself to fulfill his task and ultimately,because of the joy that is ahead of him as of Philippians 2:6-8 B.Take up your cross •What does it mean to "take up your own cross"? •What "cross" does the text is talking about? •For you,when you hear the phrase "take up your cross",what comes up to your mind? Again,flowing from verse 31-33,it cannot mean "cross(in a physical sense)",Jesus is not commanding us to pick or carry our own crosses,because it would mean that Jesus' sufferings and death on the cross is not enough,and if we look at Luke 9:23 it says that "we are to carry our own crosses daily,so it cannot work in that way.So Jesus is telling to his audiences just like what is going to happen to him,if anyone is going to follow him,they must be prepared to suffer like him.(Acts 14:22) C.Then follow Him In my Arc i used progression relationship, showing that there is an order between "denying","taking the cross" and then "to follow".Now,what does it mean?.First,you are to deny/refuse your life in this world and then carry your own load/cross then you can follow him.You are to refuse something out and take something in in order for you to follow. Now moving on,after Jesus said the imperative or the commands,there is a follow up reason.Assuming that someone might ask: •why do we have to do that? or •is it possible to "not" deny ourselves and not to suffer but at the same time pursue Jesus? We will see the answer in verse 35.This serves as the main reason why we are to deny ourselves and take up our crosses.There are two conditional statement here that is contrasting each other,hence i use an if-then and negative-positive relationship in my arc to highlight the conditions and contrast.Now what does it mean? Jesus is saying that unless we are prepared to lose our lives for his sake then thats the moment we really saved our lives.And if you notice the negative part of verse 35,it has an specific object to where we are to lose our lives. •Why we are going to lose our lives if we try to save it? •Then why we are to lose our lives for the sake of the gospel and of the name of Jesus Christ? It is because of verse 36-37,acting as the reason for the main reason namely verse 35.It says there is no gain in the world if we forfeit our soul. •Why there is no gain in the world if we forfeit our souls? verse 36-37 is being supported by another reason,verse 38.It implies that if we pursue the gains in this world we are refusing Christ,we dont want to take part in his sufferings,we are ashamed to bear the name of Jesus.If we are denying Christ then he will deny us too and it is equivalent as we forfeit our soul by pursuing the wrong gain.So he says in verse 35 that if you try to save your lives you will lose it and if you try to lose for Christ sake you will save it. CONCLUSION Christ called us to deny our lives in this world and he did not do this as if there is no reason and goal.The reason is that there is no gain in this world,Christ is our gain.Our goal is to obtain life,Christ is our life and if we are to deny him there is nothing to expect anymore.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.