Welcome to episode 82 of the Grace Cafe Podcast. In this edition of Take Five, Mike talks about taking up our cross and following Jesus. When Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24) was he referring to a spiritual discipline that involves denying my own needs and bearing up under trials? That’s a common interpretation of this passage. We’re told that when trials come, we all “have our cross to bear” and my ability to hold up well under trials becomes the litmus test for revealing how strong or weak my faith is, based on my ability or inability to deny myself and bear my cross.
But is that what Jesus meant? A more intentional look at the context reveals something completely different. This is not a spiritual discipline, but an invitation to believe. Here’s a link to the blog post I quoted from in last week’s edition of Take Five as well as this week’s: