Luke 9:23 (NIV) – Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
Peter has just made his famous declaration of the fact that Jesus is truly the Messiah. Immediately after, the Lord predicts His imminent rejection, suffering, death and resurrection. It is in the backdrop of His own impending suffering, and death that the Lord defines who His disciple is.
A disciple is one who follows a teacher.
And so, to those who follow Him wanting to be His disciple, the Lord says three specific things in this verse. He says set aside, take up, and conform.
A disciple of Christ is one who sets aside or puts away his/her selfish interests or personal agendas. A disciple has only one agenda, and that is the agenda of Christ, the One he is following. And so, all that a disciple does and says is driven by what Christ wants, not what he/she wants.
A disciple is also one who takes up his cross and follows Jesus. The cross is a choice that every disciple makes and willingly takes up. Interestingly, the cross is not something that comes automatically nor is it thrust upon the disciple. A cross is not even a difficult person or situation that one finds uncomfortable, much as we often like to believe.
The cross is a symbol of an end to self-will firmly replaced by His-will. The choice to joyfully live each day, following the Master and His agenda.
A disciple is also one who is willing to conform to the example of Christ. The Amplified Bible describes a disciple as one who conforms to the way Christ lived, even suffered, and died. To conform is to reflect Christ increasingly, through life. And that is no easy call, and yet that is the call and commitment of everyone who chooses to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
To say ‘no’ to things I desire And ‘yes’ to those that He requires Is to be a disciple, plain and simple To say no to the 'happiness' of this world and life As one lives each day through many a strife Is to say yes Lord from a heart, trusting and humble A disciple simply believes and follows The voice of the Master through each day Leaning only on Him and His Word, the Bible A disciple knows faithful is the One who has called Who will not leave alone, for He the Good Shepherd But will lovingly lead each day, until safe beyond Jordan
And so, the question is, what agenda does your life reflect?