Take up your cross (Mk 8:34-8:34)

“Jesus called

The crowd,

With his disciples.

He said to them.

‘If anyone

Wants to become

My followers,

Let them

Deny themselves!

Take up their cross!

Follow me!’”

 

Καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος τὸν ὄχλον σὺν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Εἴ τις θέλει ὀπίσω μου ἐλθεῖν, ἀπαρνησάσθω ἑαυτὸν καὶ ἀράτω τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἀκολουθείτω μοι.

 

Jesus told his disciples and the crowd that followed him that they would have to deny themselves if they wanted to follow him.  Something similar can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 16:24, Luke, chapter 9:23, and here, almost word for word.  Mark said that Jesus called his disciples and the whole crowd of people (Καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος τὸν ὄχλον σὺν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ).  He said to them (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that if anyone desired or wanted to become his follower or come after him (Εἴ τις θέλει ὀπίσω μου ἐλθεῖν), they would have to deny themselves (ἀπαρνησάσθω ἑαυτὸν).  They would have to take up their cross (καὶ ἀράτω τὸν σταυρὸν αὐτοῦ) in order to accompany him or follow him (καὶ ἀκολουθείτω μοι).  Following Jesus was not going to be easy.  There would be difficulties and a danger in this personal decision to follow Jesus.

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