Never Ashamed: Luke 9:21-27

Focus Passage: Luke 9:21-27 (GNT)

21 Then Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell this to anyone. 22 He also told them, “The Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law. He will be put to death, but three days later he will be raised to life.”

23 And he said to them all, “If you want to come with me, you must forget yourself, take up your cross every day, and follow me. 24 For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it, but if you lose your life for my sake, you will save it. 25 Will you gain anything if you win the whole world but are yourself lost or defeated? Of course not! 26 If you are ashamed of me and of my teaching, then the Son of Man will be ashamed of you when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 I assure you that there are some here who will not die until they have seen the Kingdom of God.”

Read Luke 9:21-27 in context and/or in other translations on BibleGateway.com!

Probably the most clear and direct statement about Jesus comes immediately after He shared about His upcoming death and resurrection. While Jesus sets the bar for following Him really low, in some ways it is ridiculously high as well.

Luke tells us that after Jesus shared about His upcoming arrest and death, He tells all those who are present, “If you want to come with me, you must forget yourself, take up your cross every day, and follow me. For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it, but if you lose your life for my sake, you will save it. Will you gain anything if you win the whole world but are yourself lost or defeated? Of course not! If you are ashamed of me and of my teaching, then the Son of Man will be ashamed of you when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (v. 23-26)

On one hand, the requirements Jesus sets for us are really low. They are not based on social status, financial status, or popularity. These things have hierarchy and they are ways of measuring people in relation to other people. But everyone has the breath of life in them, and it is this life that Jesus refers to.

While the cross Jesus took up was a literal cross, and while many of the disciples and first followers of Jesus also ultimately took up literal crosses, Jesus is speaking figuratively of challenges that come against our faith in Him. When we choose to go with Jesus, the first thing He says is that our “self” should be left behind. If we are trying to bring our lives and our stuff along on the trip with Jesus, we will not be able to keep up. Jesus tells us, “if you want to save your own life, you will lose it, but if you lose your life for my sake, you will save it” (v. 24)

This sounds backwards, but it speaks to the focus we should have for our lives. If we focus on building ourselves up, or on acquiring all we can in this world, it won’t mean anything if we miss this one point. When time ends, the only decision that will have mattered is whether we have placed God/Jesus as first in our lives.

And Jesus finishes this idea out by saying another easy-to-understand idea that is also challenging to apply. “If you are ashamed of me and of my teaching, then the Son of Man will be ashamed of you when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (v. 26)

When we have chosen to follow Jesus, we should never be ashamed of our decision. We can expect to face challenges, and we can expect that there will be those who don’t understand, but if we hold on tightly to our faith and belief in Jesus, and we are never ashamed of our association with Jesus, then He will stick up for us when He returns in His glory with the Father and His angels.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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