Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Crowds and Cross Carriers

Luke 14:25 -27 (New Living Translation)
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

The Cost of Being a Disciple
25 Great crowds were following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, 26"If you want to be my follower you must love me more than your own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, more than your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27And you cannot be my disciple if you do not carry your own cross and follow me.

“Great crowds were following Jesus…” No CNN available but large numbers tagged along to hear him.

Some were just curious, “Who was this man?”

Some were there because of the controversy caused by his conflict with the Pharisees.

Yes, Pharisees and people from the Roman government no doubt would have been there amongst the crowd.

There would have been opportunists; Fish Shops to feed the hungry, or sellers of “Furniture made by the Carpenter who heals!”

From a worldly perspective a crowd brings security, but Jesus wasn’t impressed by crowds, he saw people one at a time. And he made it clear that casual association wasn’t enough to enter the Kingdom. He called for "all out cross carriers.”

"Cross Carriers"…they would be “dead men walking” as far as this world was concerned; dead to the world and dead to self. Using the cross as an invitation to follow (verse 27) was not exactly good public relations; didn’t anyone tell this Rabbi that? Yet, amongst the crowds that massed around him, one at a time there were hearts and souls that said, “Yes.”

Lord, I want to be a Cross Carrier, not just a face in the crowd. I may stumble many times along the way, but I want you to recognize me when we meet one day.

Luke 13:22-27 (New Living Translation)
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

The Narrow Door
22 Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he went, always pressing on toward Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, "Lord, will only a few be saved?"
He replied, 24 "The door to heaven is narrow. Work hard to get in, because many will try to enter, 25 but when the head of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. Then you will stand outside knocking and pleading, `Lord, open the door for us!' But he will reply, `I do not know you.' 26 You will say, `But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.' 27 And he will reply, `I tell you, I don't know you. Go away, all you who do evil.'

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