90 Day Challenge – Day 80

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Bible Time Period: Messianic Fulfillment

You sent your only Son, Jesus Christ the Messiah, to fulfill all your promises: Give me new life in him.

Reflection

Today’s chapters are packed with familiar episodes from the life of Christ:  the mission of the Twelve; the feeding of the 5,000; Peter’s confession; the Transfiguration – and that’s just part of chapter 9.  Take particular note of these things as you read:

  • During the Transfiguration (ch 9), Moses and Elijah speak with Jesus of the “exodus” whereby he will pass through a sea of suffering and lead his people through death to sin and to a new life in him.  This is the same Moses and Elijah you read about in the Old Testament.  Moses represents the Law and Elijah represents the Prophets.  Together they bear witness here to the mission of the messiah.
  • In 9:51, Jesus “sets his face to go to Jerusalem” and the Cross.  There is no turning back from this point.  The following ten chapters describe his ministry in Judea (previously known as “Judah”), during which time he establishes the foundation of his kingdom.
  • Way back at the burning bush in Exodus 3, God revealed his name:  “I AM.”  Not until Jesus comes as Son, is God revealed as “Father.”  The Lord’s Prayer (ch 11) asks us to recognize this and act on it.

Today’s Reading

Luke 9-12

Today’s Question

According to Jesus, what are the conditions and cost of discipleship?

Join the discussion below!

Sarah Christmyer

Sarah Christmyer is co-developer with Jeff Cavins of The Great Adventure Catholic Bible study program. She serves as Strategic Consultant of The Great Adventure and is author or co-author of a number of the studies. Sarah has thirty years of experience leading and teaching Bible studies. She helped launch Catholic Scripture Study and is co-author of "Genesis Part I: God and His Creation" and "Genesis Part II: God and His Family," published by Emmaus Road. Sarah has a BA in English literature from Gordon College in Wenham, MA, and is working toward a Masters of Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. Raised in a strong evangelical family, she was received into the Catholic Church in 1992. Sarah also writes at comeintotheword.com/.

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  • Margie

    The condition of discipleship must not be a hardship with an attitude of having a cross to bear. It has to be an attitude of being “full of light.” As explained in Luke CH 11:36, If your whole body is full of light no part of it will be in darkness, to be as “full of light” as a lamp that illuminates you with all its brightness. However; there is a consequence to this brightness in oneself. There are those opposed to the light who will do anything to dimmer it to a state of darkness. This is when Jesus explains discipleship is the strength to offer your spirit to love and faith in God. To not depend on material things or possessions, or seek acceptance from others. In return abundant blessings will be your just rewards. Even the birds are given shelter and food to eat for survival, why would God treat you less than…?

  • The disciple must bear his cross ‘daily’ as stated in verse 23. By denying themselves they must forget about one’s interests for the sake of the kingdom. Whoever “will lose their life” (9:24) by avoiding the potential hardships associated with being a disciple of Jesus, they will lose their life (likely in the great eschatological judgment associated with the end of the age), but those who wish to save their lives are those who embrace Jesus’ call to discipleship—including the difficulties associated with it; it will be a costly nature.

  • Susan

    The conditions and cost of discipleship are simple according to Jesus: (1) know that nothing earthly has value as a tool for finding life after death, (2) there is only one path and one focus – the Lord God and His Son, Jesus, (3) individuals must forsake themselves totally and cleave to the teachings of Jesus and follow Him by obeying the commandments, laws, statutes and resolutions, and (4) we must love God with all our hearts, minds, and spirit and love our neighbor as ourselves.

  • Marian Potts

    It is means-deny oneself-take up your cross and follow me. Learning to be lead by the Lord is learning to listen to Him in order to follow Him. The road of self denial -dying to ourselves is essential to the journey. .

  • pnkyB4brain

    Elaine said it so well! To me this is the hardest cross to take up and follow. To deny oneself is a hardship on its own, and to deny the tongue from speaking its mind is just as difficult. I admire the people that have the strength and tenacity to follow in Jesus’ footsteps.
    What I love about Jesus’ explanation is that this is a decision each of us would need to make individually. The human ego is a formidable facet of our persona.

  • Elaine Boone

    In Luke 9:23-27, Jesus lays out to the apostles the conditions of discipleship: “Ifanyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it….” Then he further elaborates on the consequences of choosing things of the world over life in the spirit. Such simples words but so difficult this narrow path! Following Christ requires thousands of choices each day. Do I go to mass or sleep in? Do I bite my tongue to refrain from saying a harsh word or do I use the opportunity to be kind? Do I stop what I’m doing to help another or use that time to indulge myself? Do I say my evening prayers or read a novel? Do I change my life on a bigger scale to help with poverty, education, protecting political freedoms, and on and on. I probably will never be called to carry a cross like Christ’s – one of martyrdom. But God did give me a cross of responsibility along with my gift of faith through Baptism. To gain eternal life I must be attentive to God’s words to me on how he wants me, in my small way, to help fulfill God’s plan for his people.

  • michael t.

    The Lord says to give up ourselves and to follow him. That means, if we are a baseball player, for example, we are not concerned about failure in playing baseball. It is not about us, but rather it is about the Holy Spirit in us. It is the Holy Spirit who’s playing baseball. Our job is to work hard and to bring our “A game” and the Holy Spirit is what determines our success or failure. We are also to ask God for success and to help us in what we need in this life, and if we get it, we are to glorify Him.

  • Barbara Ann Baugh

    Through out this Gospel the emphasis is if we are to follow Jesus we must leave everything behind, place all out trust in God and take up our cross willing.

  • Fisher

    Jesus unequivocally and succinctly spells out the conditions and cost of discipleship in chapter 9, as the others’ comments here point out so clearly. He caps this with instruction on, and the perfect example of, prayer (The Lord ‘ s Prayer). What I find fascinating is how perfectly the rest of today’s assigned reading, through chapter 12, reiterate not only the conditions of discipleship, but especially how perfectly The Lord’s Prayer encompasses all we need ask for in order to achieve effective discipleship.

    Example: “Thy kingdom come” — Chapter 11:14-23; “But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”

    It all boils down to this, for me: I must prayerfully ask for, and even more importantly, TRUST in God; he will provide each day every single thing this disciple needs.

    • Marianne

      “How perfectly The Lord’s Prayer encompasses all we need ask for in order to achieve effective discipleship.”

      You’re right, Fisher. Words to live by. The Lord’s Prayer is a very succinct petition to God our Father. And if we take these words to heart, He hears our prayers and will guide us as we seek to do His will as His disciples.

      There is one thing that troubles me about the modern translations of the Lord’s Prayer. And that is (to me) the conspicuous absence of the phrase “Thy will be done”. Sometimes, I am fearful that the younger generation may be taught to recite this version. Thus losing out on a most vital aspect of discipleship and relationship with God.

      • Fisher

        I have never heard it prayed with that line omitted. I doubt we ever will; keep the faith!

        • Marianne

          I certainly hope so. We grew up on it and it is deeply embedded in our hearts. But this version is in modern Catholic Bibles. Thankfully, it is an integral part of the
          Catholic Mass.

          • Fisher

            Funny –
            I was curious and went in search of the oldest Bible of my collection to check this passage, and it is the Revised Standard Version published in 1971 (King James/Protestant Bible). “Thy will be done” is not in this either. In which version have you seen this line included?
            Side note: the Bible I mention is the version given to all the students by the nuns at the Catholic school I attended years ago! How funny that they did not consider it important to give us the Catholic editions!!

          • Fisher

            Oh, wait!!! Ah-ha!!! The line IS INCLUDED in Matthew’s Gospel!! I just found it – chapter 6, verse 10!

          • Marianne

            Yaaaay! I’m glad it’s somewhere!
            Fisher, you’ve put me to work! I looked in MY oldest bible, a 1970 edition of The “New” American Bible (quotes mine… I’m starting to reveal my age!!!) and it’s not there in Luke, either… So perhaps it was never in Luke’s Gospel. Thank God it’s in Matthew! I will have to ask my sister, who has my parent’s bible which has been in my family since the 1940s (at this point, just a curiosity).

            The other pet “peeve” I’ve always had is the use of the word “hate”, also in Luke’s Gospel (14:26) “whoever… does not hate”. My study bible explains that this is an idiomatic term meaning “to love less”. However, without that note, the meaning could very easily be misconstrued. God IS Love. We must never be tempted to think of Him in as anything other than LOVE.

          • Fisher

            Mystery solved! As for hate – I just look at it this way: nothing unholy can approach The Throne, and God desires holiness from each of us that we may not be separated from Him. Thus, God at least is grieved by sin, that which is evil, is counter to goodness. Human language is not nearly adequate to encompass God – but God condescends to us, reveals to us in language we can understand for now. Now we see imperfectly; then we will see perfectly. I can’t wait!

          • Marianne

            Amen, Fisher! Though I look forward to obtaining the final promises of God, I think I can wait. I have so much to make up for! So much time lost! I am so grateful that I’ve finally put my life into His hands, to be His disciple and to (hopefully) lead others to follow His Light.

      • Rosi

        I have never heard the modern translation before.

  • mg

    “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more.” The true cost of discipleship could be…but what a marvelous thought that no one can kill us spiritually, as long as we remain faithful!

  • Carla Archuleta

    According to Jesus, discipleship is denying oneself, giving up our cross DAILY to follow Him. The chosen 12 did just this. As the hey followed Jesus it was done without question and without materialistic belongings (no extra clothing, shoes or even drink). Their faith was in putting Jesus first. I am sure this is why Jesus went with the 12 as the chosen ones.

    I remind myself, several times a day, that my life belongs to Jesus and ask for direction, but as each day proceeds my tendencies slip away and allow my human mind to take over. This is where I really need more prayer and strength of faith, staying focused on Jesus not on me (selfishness). I pray to Improve on my discipleship with Jesus daily. I do love Him and work continually towards losing my life for the sake of Jesus. I ask that our time on Earth will keep or mind and heart living toward eternal glory with Jesus and God through our daily discipleship. God bless us all! Amen.

    • Beverly Hagar-Schmerse

      I know how you feel…I try to start out my day with, “God, Your Will be done not mine, this day and always. Amen.” I also wrote a poem to help me remember Who is running this show:

      Control

      Much of what we seem to do,
      Is determined by each cluttered clue.
      Let us, instead, put God in the driver’s seat,
      And we, as the passenger, complete the feat.
      Then our days will be ordered by God,
      And we will have grace where-e’er we trod.

      • Barbara Ann Baugh

        Wow with God in the driver’s seat you can enjoy the scenery

        • Carla Archuleta

          Beverly, I appreciate your support, comforting words and prayers. This group has been so healing for me.

          You are so right about, control and trusting God to drive.

          Thank you, Carla

  • Liza

    The cost and conditions of being a disciple mean we are to give everything, unconditionally. These disciples handed everything over. They lived in faith and dependancy (like God’s people in the desert) travelling from town to town relying on God to provide a meal, clothes, a bed, a welcome. Jesus says they also have to be prepared to get nothing (and shake the dust off and move on) and even worse be prepared for torture and death in carrying their cross. He instructs them to be like children (dependant) and to pray: persistently! And what are they doing all this for? They are PROCLAIMING; they are fulfilling the covenant of a worldwide blessing; they are making disciples and they are not to be fazed by the scale of the task (feeding of the 5000), they have to get on with it! I also notice Jesus reminds them not to celebrate the defeat of Satan but the joy of heaven. WE keep our focus on God.

    Jesus asks a lot of us and we know, and have confidence, that if we allow him to live in us and allow the Holy Spirit to be the fuel and fire of our lives everything is possible for God.

    Big Ask: Big privilege.

    • Kathy

      I always remind myself when I read to take up my cross and follow Jesus and it sounds foreboding, that He also reminded us that His yoke is light. It certainly is much lighter when we are carrying the cross He assigns to us and we acknowledge that we know He is with us helping us every step of the way.

  • pnkyB4brain

    Jesus chose the twelve for a reason and their faith was great for this new religion that Jesus brought forth. When speaking to the twelve, He mentioned that the road for a disciple is a tough one. No longer would you have a roof over your head, the boredom of the same routine day in and day out, no money, etc. Your job would be going from town to town preaching the good news of the gospel and healing the sick and afflicted. Some towns will accept you with open arms, other towns would not. Jesus also appointed disciples to also preach from town to town. His instructions were the same.
    I often wondered if my life veered down another path other than the one I am on, if I, too would have been one who answered Jesus’ call. But then, I realized that I have answered His call as a “disciple” by thriving and savoring in His Word everyday and demonstrating the essence of living the Catholic faith with everyone I meet daily.