After Peter was restored on the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus invited him back into action and gives him vision for his future ministry.
Jesus reminds Peter that before Christ, he did what he wanted but the challenge comes in verse 19, when Jesus calls Peter and says, “Follow me”. Jesus gives Peter a picture of how he will suffer for His name sake. We see in verse 20 that Peter, in his love for his brother asks about the Lord’s beloved disciple, John, when he says, “What about him, Lord?”. In verse 22 Jesus replies with, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”. He then tells Peter to return to his lane and focus on his calling.
“Follow Me” or we also see the same concept communicated in Mat. 10:38 as “take up your cross” and in Luke 9:23 when the scripture says, if you want to by a follower of Christ, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow him.
“Take up your cross” means to carry one’s own cross to the place of crucifixion.
- Crucifixion causes us to see that there will be suffering
- To carry one’s own cross means that it is yours alone and it will require self- denial
What is the difference between a disciple and follower of Christ?
- A follower is (literally) one who follows, comes after another while disciple is a person who learns from another, especially one who then teaches others.
The portion of scripture challenges believers to “take up their cross”. It is a challenge to deny self and choose to become a disciple of Christ. A disciple of Christ means to put aside selfish desires, to understand there will be suffering and that our purpose in life is to serve Christ’s purposes. We change our thinking from living for ourselves and what we want, to what can I do for Christ. How can I serve my Lord with my life?
When you look in your own life, what do you need to deny to become a deeper disciple of Christ?
What selfish desires need to be surrendered in your prayer time?
What does “taking up your cross” look like personally?
Deny self, take up your cross and follow him = discipleship
Discipleship is a continuous process of learning
Do you desire to be discipled by Christ? Then it will cost you something as you will need to follow Him daily. It may cost you some sleep to wake up earlier as Jesus waits to meet with you daily by a warm fire on the beach, to restore you, encourage you, and give you vision for the ministry He has for you. Will you show up?
“Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.” Proverbs 1:23 (NLT)