Continuing with our look at Spiritual Discipleship…
The second chapter in Sander’s book is “Conditions of Discipleship.”
“Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple” Luke 14:27 (ESV)
Oswald opens this chapter discussing how Jesus seems to be “intent on alienating [the crowd’s] interest and actually discouraging them from following him.” He goes on to say, “The line Jesus took with the impressionable crowd was the exact opposite of much evangelism today.” Rather than focusing on the benefits of following him as a disciple, he spoke of the “difficulties and dangers” and “sacrifices.” Jesus was not interested in the number of people who followed him; he was interested in the quality of those who chose to make the necessary sacrifice to be disciples (pp. 19-21).
We must challenge not only ourselves, but also those around us to “bear [our] own cross” and be true disciples of Jesus Christ. It will be difficult. It may be dangerous. It will definitely demand sacrifice. However, as Oswald writes, “following Christ is not a joyless experience” (p. 24). True joy and happiness come to those who follow Jesus Christ. And if that is not incentive enough, try following the popular directive, “Just do it!”
Holy Bible. (2001). English standard version. Wheaton, IL: Standard Bible Society.
Sanders, J. O. (1990). Spiritual discipleship: Principles of following Christ for every believer. Chicago: The Moody Bible Institute.