Luke 9:23-24 — “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” The twelve disciples were very keen on following Jesus in what they believed to be His imminent Messianic triumph, but their expectations were narrow and naive. Before exaltation and glory there was to be humiliation and suffering. There would be a cross for Jesus and so there is a cross for all who would follow Him.
In this text, Jesus tells us plainly what it means to be a Christian. It involves self-denial, suffering and obedience. It is difficult and costly but there is a wonderful promise! When we lose our life for Jesus’s sake, we save it. We live the only life that is truly worthwhile.