Peter began to say to him, “Lo, we have left everything and followed you.”
Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
But many that are first will be last, and the last first.”
Jesus Christ consistently shared the need to follow Him and the attendant persecutions.
“Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” – Matthew 10:38
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” – Matthew 16:24
“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” – Mark 8:34
“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” – Luke 9:23
“And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:27
To understand His use of the cross, do not think of how we currently perceive the cross today as a symbol of love, redemption, or a necessary burden to glory.
Think of the fear, humiliation, agony and death the cross provoked in His day.
Now imagine being told to expect a cross as part of the package of following Jesus Christ and having eternal life.
Being a disciple was and is no mean feat.
But remember these words of Jesus Christ –
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” – John 15:18-19
Dear Lord, grant me the grace to follow you and prioritise what pleases you.