“And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”
The disciple of Christ always emulates the characteristics of Christ. One of the things that makes a person Christ’s disciple is that they are a mirror image of Christ in action and thought. In verses 25-33, the disciple’s characteristics are revealed. These characteristics won’t be easy to obtain. In fact, these characteristics come at a dear cost, but the cost of being Christ’s disciples is worth paying because of the close relationship it brings with it. Four characteristics are needed if you are going to be Christ’s disciple.
First, the disciple of Christ has the right priorities. Verse 26 says, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” A true disciple of Christ will not allow their feelings or relationships to keep them from doing for Christ what they are supposed to do. Many believers have failed to follow Christ when it was going to cost them a close relationship. The relationships that discipleship will cost are often the ones dearest to you. You will find that when you are Christ’s disciple that your family will often not understand your choices and way of life. You will often be on the wrong side of your family and friends when you choose to be Christ’s disciple.
Second, the disciple of Christ will persevere. The verse above says, “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” Christ’s disciple doesn’t quit when a cross comes their way. Christ’s disciple will not quit when their cross becomes heavy. Christ’s disciple will not quit when their cross costs them everything. You will find that the cost of carrying the cross to be Christ’s disciple is worth the relationship you will enjoy. The heavier the cross becomes, and the greater the cross costs you only causes the relationship with Christ to become closer. You will never experience a close relationship with Christ if you quit when your cross comes.
Third, the disciple of Christ is a finisher. Verses 28-29, shows that the disciple not only starts serving the LORD, but they finish it. My friend, serving the LORD won’t always be fun or easy. There are going to be times when you serve the LORD that you have to push through, but if you are going to be Christ’s disciple, you are going to have to keep going until you finish. You are going to find that many who walked with you will walk away, but you must continue to the finish if you are going to be Christ’s disciple. The disciple of Christ will see many walk away in their walk with the LORD, but they will keep doing God’s will for their life in spite of losing the relationships they once enjoyed.
Fourth, the disciple of Christ serves with no reserve. Verse 33 says, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” At the end of the day, you must expend all energy if you are going to be Christ’s disciple. You cannot be Christ’s disciple and give a half-hearted effort in what you do for Him. The world’s allurements will be uninteresting when you give your all as a disciple of Christ.
Let me ask you; are you willing to pay the cost to be Christ’s disciple? Do you have the characteristics of a disciple of Christ? You will never change the world around you until you are willing to pay the cost to carry these characteristics.