If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24
- Right before Jesus said the above words to all the disciples, he said to Peter, “you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Matthew 16:23) How does what Jesus said to all of them contrast with what he said just to Peter? \
- hat exactly did Jesus tell people to deny?
- Jesus made attempt after attempt to tell his disciples what was ahead of him. One and all, they either shut their ears and refused to talk about even among themselves, or they insisted they would not let it happen. Now he says that anyone who follows him must deny self and carry a cross. What does this tell them? What does it tell you?
- For generations Christians have been told that crucifixion is an ancient custom that isn’t done anymore. In Syria and Iraq, Christians are actually being crucified today. How does that news make you feel? ISIS has declared that it will invade the USA. What if it happened to you in the USA?
- Until recently, being a Christian was a very comfortable choice in the USA. However, even though there are no public beheadings or crucifixions here, the news is full of lawsuits against Christians who speak of their faith and act on their faith. Do you feel comfortable being a Christian? When you feel uncomfortable, what do you do about it?
- Do you feel that you are truly able to let go of your own dreams of comfort and peace and stand firm for your faith even if someone takes you to court or threatens you with torture?