Bearing your cross
Bible Version - KJV
Receiving Jesus Willingly
A few weeks ago my wife and I were reading the Bible and studying together when we came across a few verses in John Chapter 6 that I had read before, but this time it struck me in a way I had never noticed before. I love it when the Lord shows you something new in a place that you have searched before and found nothing. It hit me so profoundly that I had to share it with you all.
John Chapter 6 verses 15-21 is the one I am speaking of that had struck me so profoundly with a simple word. The main verse is verse 21. I always like to read the surrounding verses to set a bigger picture and to make sure there is not anything else that I have missed that the Lord may be trying to tell me.
In verse 21 the word that spoke to me was the word “willingly”. They received Jesus willingly into their boat. Now you must asked yourselves honestly, have you willingly received Jesus willingly into your lives? If so then have you considered all that goes with that and the implications that Jesus himself spoke of if you are willing to accept him into to your life FULLY. Let us look at some scriptures that give us a more detailed implication of accepting Jesus then the standard “All you need to do is accept Jesus as your lord and savior” that most Christians think is all that’s needed. Jesus’s own words say that there is much more to it than that. We must follow Jesus as our example if we are going to call ourselves his followers, so let us see what he says on this matter.
We shall start in Matthew 8:19-22. In verses 19-20 Jesus is saying that if you are willing to follow him that in this world you will find no literal place of rest, yes you will gain a spiritual rest from Jesus, but as far as this world is concerned you will find none. In verses 21 and 22 the disciple is asking not to go an bury his father now, for his father is not yet dead “physically” speaking, but that he go an take care of him till he dies. Jesus response to him is in the spiritual sense and not the physical and sheds light on what the disciple is truly asking. We know dead people cannot bury other dead people, but Jesus is referring to their spiritual condition. Jesus knew that spiritually speaking the father was dead and that the disciple had to choose between him and his father.
Another scripture that helps add clarity to this is Matthew 10:37-39. Jesus is clearly telling us to make a choice between him and everyone else in our lives. If you put anyone before him in anyway, such as trying to live your life through another like your children or any other family member or even people outside of your family then you are not worthy of him. If you are not WILLING to take up your cross for him then you are not worthy of him, as well as if you think you can make a life for yourself in this world on your own without Jesus being it then in the end you will loose that very thing.
The book of Matthew is just full of good scriptures to help show us the way that we should walk. In Matthew 11:28-30 and Matthew 16:24-26 we find that we have to take up his yoke as well as our own cross. It was never going to be easy to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, because if it was, then you would have the whole world following him. He always was up front to those that wanted to follow him and he let them know that it was no walk in the park. We do it not because it’s easy or that we have to, we do it because we love him.
To illustrate this even more let us look lastly at Matthew 19:16-22 and Matthew 10:33. In 19:16-22 Jesus is not saying that you can have nothing in this world; he is making a point that the more you have tied to this world the harder it will be for you to follow him into the next. We have to make sure that we put nothing before our walk with the lord, not even our own lives. As we see in 10:33 that we must not be ashamed of being one of his followers nor being ashamed of how our lives should stand out from all others that live in this world. If we deny him before man then he will deny us before his Father.
So let us be WILLING to put on his Yoke and pick up our Cross so that our lives can truly reflect the life of Jesus.