Read: Mark 8:34-38

When Jesus spoke to His own about the demands of discipleship, the words were very strong. His words were “Deny…take up your cross…follow.” In contrast, the words of the world are “Pamper yourself…indulge… grab whatever you can.”

Augustine reminds all Christians that servanthood involves both a privilege and a price. He said, “It is good to follow Christ. But we must see by what way we are to follow. For when the Lord spoke the words of Mark 8, He had not already risen from the dead. He had not yet suffered, not yet come to the cross, not yet felt the dishonouring, the outrages, the scourging, the thorns, the wounds, the mockeries, the insults, the death. Rough may be the way, but follow on. Where Christ has gone is worn smooth. Who would not wish to be exalted? Honour is pleasing to all. But humility is the path to it. The two disciples disliked taking this step of humility. They sought exaltation, one at the right hand and the other at the left (Mark 10:37). They did not see the cross.”

Jesus’ invitation to discipleship is an invitation to die. Dying to self, to the world, to personal ambition. It is a call to follow Jesus in His life, in His death and in His resurrection. Exaltation and elevation in God’s sight are the by-products of humility. This is the reason why few people even today gather at the cross. Few are willing to pay the price that discipleship demands. But it is good to know that it is a price well worth paying, because a life of discipleship is the most fulfilling life of all. Are you willing to pay the price?

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