“Take up your cross and follow Me”

In the ninth chapter of the book of Luke, verse 23, Jesus says the following to His disciples:

…“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. Luke 9:23

Below are the Greek translations, of the italicized words.

If anyone wishes… – Greek: θέλω,v \{thel’-o} to will, have in mind, intend, to be resolved or determined, to purpose, to desire, to wish, to love

…to come after Me… – Greek: ὀπίσω,p \{op-is’-o} back, behind, after, afterwards

…he must deny himself… – Greek: ἀρνέομαι,v \{ar-neh’-om-ahee} to disregard his own interests or to prove false to himself, act entirely unlike himself

…and take up… – Greek: αἴρω,v \{ah’-ee-ro} to take upon one’s self and carry what has been raised up, to bear

…his cross… – Greek: σταυρός,n \{stow-ros’} a well known instrument of most cruel and ignominious punishment, borrowed by the Greeks and Romans from the Phoenicians; to it were affixed among the Romans, down to the time of Constantine the Great, the guiltiest criminals, particularly the basest slaves, robbers, the authors and abetters of insurrections, and occasionally in the provinces, at the arbitrary pleasure of the governors, upright and peaceable men also, and even Roman citizens themselves – the crucifixion which Christ underwent

…and follow Me. – Greek: ἀκολουθέω,v \{ak-ol-oo-theh’-o} to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him, to join one as a disciple, become or be his disciple, side with his party

Now there’s probably a couple dozen good sermons in here for a talented preacher.  But, since since I’m not, I will let scripture stand on it’s own as Paul declared in I Corinthians 2:1-2 when he said:  “And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.   For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”

That being said, I would indulge in sharing my (personalized) paraphrase:

           If you are determined and purpose out of a sense of love for Me, to follow behind in the life and the footsteps that I am walking, you must disregard your own interests (in fact you must behave totally unlike that which your human nature dictates), pick up and carry your personal cross every day of your life, and be on My side while you follow and accompany Me as My disciple.

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