Eating the Book: Luke 9:23-27
23 Jesus said to everyone, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow me. 24 All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me will save them. 25 What advantage do people have if they gain the whole world for themselves yet perish or lose their lives? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Human One will be ashamed of that person when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 I assure you that some standing here won’t die before they see God’s kingdom.” (Common English Bible; emphasis mine)
“say no to themselves”: Saying no to myself is something I struggle with sometimes. This phrase bothers me in a way, probably because deep down I know it’s so necessary. It is a daily discipline and choice. But when you have a lot of decisions to make there can be a temptation to rationalize and not worry so much about areas which relate to me personally-places where I may have the most need to say “no.” It can be less difficult to say “no” to someone else than it is to myself. Not all the time, but sometimes. I’m hearing Jesus call us to the more difficult, yet spiritually forming, path of self-discipline.
“I assure you”: Hearing this phrase (in this translation) struck a chord with me. I recognize that I need assurance. And hearing words of assurance from Jesus is very encouraging. This phrase would probably work well as a breath prayer for me. Breathing in, “Help me follow you.” Breathing out, “I assure you.”