Matthew 16:24


#1

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

I am having difficulty with understanding what 'cross' means.

Leaving behind your ordinary life to follow Jesus?
Daily difiiculties?
Extraordinary difficulties?
To bear all difficulties with grace and trust?
Feeling like everything you are and do is more than one can bear?

To bear all difficuties with grace and trust, is, in itself, an extraordinary thing to do, and realistically, we humans are not extraordinary; we all have limited tolerance to difficulties.
And so we pray.

And what of prayer?
If these difficulties are a cross, how does prayer help? We pray for others' to trust God at this time of burden, to bear the difficulties with His grace. A good thing!!
And yet we also pray to alleviate the burden.
Is this not then praying to alleviate the cross?? That which we should bear?

Would someone help me with this please?
Thank you.


#2

[quote="empantarhei, post:1, topic:326130"]
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

I am having difficulty with understanding what 'cross' means.

Leaving behind your ordinary life to follow Jesus?
Daily difiiculties?
Extraordinary difficulties?
To bear all difficulties with grace and trust?
Feeling like everything you are and do is more than one can bear?

[/quote]

This is a good description. We are called to Love, not just love, but love as Jesus loved us. This is a great thing and the better we are at it, the more that is NOT love in the world will trouble us. Also...knowing what we are called to and knowing our own weakness is, in itself, a burden. So - While Jesus tells us to take up our cross, he does not say that it needs to be heavy or burdensome.

To bear all difficuties with grace and trust, is, in itself, an extraordinary thing to do, and realistically, we humans are not extraordinary; we all have limited tolerance to difficulties.

Realistically we are called to be more than we can 'realistically" be on our own. Mt 5:48 calls us to be perfect (in agape) as our Heavenly Father is perfect. Yes we are limited...but with God all things are possible.

And so we pray.

And what of prayer?
If these difficulties are a cross, how does prayer help? We pray for others' to trust God at this time of burden, to bear the difficulties with His grace. A good thing!!
And yet we also pray to alleviate the burden.
Is this not then praying to alleviate the cross?? That which we should bear?

In all prayer we should imitate our Lord in the Garden. "Not my will but yours be done". In this we place our trust in God and our burden will become lighter...though it still might weigh upon us.

Would someone help me with this please?
Thank you.

Hope this helps a little

Peace
James


#3

Because Jesus knew that some of his disciples would cower in fear when presented with persecution for being part of the Christian movement and be tempted to deny Him, Jesus was calling his disciples to be willing to accept the persecution and even martyrdom that will come from being his disciples and being part of his movement. To take up your cross means that his followers must not deny him even though they could be crucified Like he was. They must be willing to take up their own cross just as He did.

This teaching applies to all his followers in every age. persecutions have come in many different forms throughout the centuries. Each of us must be prepared to receive persecutions in whatever form they may come to us. We must not deny Jesus in the face of the persecutions that we face for being Christian.


#4

Certain interpretations from the Church Fathers have it to signify keeping Christ company in word and deed, having the readiness for martyrdom, or being crucified to the world.

Chrys.:...] And that you should not think that this denial of self extends only to words or affronts, he shews to what degree we should deny ourselves, namely, to death the most shameful, even that of the cross; this He signifies when He says, “And take up his cross, and follow me.”

Hilary: We are to follow our Lord by taking up the cross of His passion; and if not in deed, yet in will, bear Him company.

Jerome: Otherwise; He takes up his cross who is crucified to the world; and he to whom the world is crucified, follows his crucified Lord.


#5

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