This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?
A rich young man. A passel of early disciples. Judas Iscariot.
What did they have in common? They came to Jesus, but they didn’t stay.
Discipleship isn’t for sissies. It’s tough. Arduous. Demanding.
You have come to Jesus. Will you stay?
Are you willing to give up what you have for what he offers? “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mk 8:34).
Taking up your cross doesn’t mean bearing the pains and disappointments of life. The cross is for one—and only one—purpose: to die on.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said it this way: “When Christ calls a man he bids him come and die.”
You have come. Will you stay?
Be faithful in the here and now,
looking to the reward of the there and then.