In this passage, our Lord articulates aspects of true discipleship. Consider these 6.
- True Discipleship is Conditional – “If.” It is a choice that can be made, or one that is chosen not to be made.
- True Discipleship is Universal – It is available to “all” or “anyone.”
- True Discipleship is Personal – “Deny self.” No one can do this for us. To “deny” means to “say no to” or “to refuse.” See John 13:38; Hebrews 11:24. Saying “yes to Jesus” involves a saying no to and refusal of self.
- True Discipleship is Painful – “Take up his cross.” Our selfish wills and ways must be killed – put to death. Truly, there is no such thing as “low impact” or “non impact” discipleship. See Romans 8:18; 2 Timothy 3:12.
- True Discipleship is Perpetual – “Daily.” It’s not just when we feel like it or when convenient. See 1 Corinthians 15:31. Real discipleship is a daily walk to greater Christlikeness (Galatians 4:19; 2 Peter 3:18).
- True Discipleship is Practical – “Follow Me.” It is a tragedy there are so many distant followers in Jesus when the very nature of it is both practical and consuming. It is a living, vibrant relationship and an education of the soul necessitating closeness and proximity. Mike Vestal