Now for the first time, the Teacher stuns His students with a deeper disclosure of the plan for His own life.
He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.His students are shaken - Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
But there was one more shocking revelation to come! This same degree of commitment and sacrifice will now be required to continue as one of His students.
If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.
They didn’t sign up for this! They simply wanted to be students of the best Rabbi in the world. A superior education would naturally lead to a better life, respect, places of honor in society!
And now this bombshell!!! Will they re-enlist?
One of them definitely will not! Soon he will seek and find an opportunity to go over to the enemy!
Now we see how it is with all of us. Don’t we first sign up with Jesus primarily as our Savior? We are quite content with the forgiveness He offers.
Then one day the Teacher reveals His deeper plan to change our lives. To become much more like Him than we originally planned. And it involves a cross – the cross of self-denial.
We re-enlist and become serious students of Jesus!