34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.
There is so much in this chapter that it’s hard to choose which portion to highlight for today. Read it and pray about it – there’s another feeding of the multitudes, this time 4000 people in the wilderness. The disciples fail to understand Jesus when he tells them to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod. The rising threat of one’s adversaries is greater than simply needing food to fill our tummies. Jesus heals a blind man. He asks them who people call him, and Peter names Jesus as the Messiah, our savior. Jesus tells them that he will suffer and be rejected, be killed and three days later rise from death.
To be a disciple – within this chapter it entails feeding others with both physical and spiritual food. It means keeping one’s eyes open to perceive threats, even if the process of receiving sight takes a little time. It means professing faith and accepting all that comes with faith, both the joys and the hardship. Do I have the right stuff of discipleship? Will I let Jesus continue to keep opening my eyes until I may fully see and fully serve? I pray that I may lose my life as I might define it, in order to take up how Jesus has asked me to live.
Dear God, let me choose again today to be your disciple, in a way that you define it, not me. Let my eyes be open to perceive opportunities for service, and to be ready to die to my own self in order to take up Christ’s body and his life in me. Let me not be afraid of difficulties ahead, because you promise to be with me in all I do. In Christ I pray. Amen.