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The conditions of discipleship



Luke 9:22-25


Jesus said to His disciples: “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Then He said to all, “If anyone 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. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?”



Take up his cross daily. Luke is unique among the Synoptic evangelists in his version of the conditions of discipleship. While Matthew and Mark have Jesus say that those who wish to follow Him have to take up their crosses, Luke adds the qualifier “daily.” This means that we have to accept burdens as part of our daily existence. By “crosses” Jesus refers to the things we endure as we follow Him closely, like insults, misunderstanding, hatred, rejection, and life-threatening persecution.

In general, we know and accept that crosses will come our way. But to be told that we are to carry them daily makes following Jesus very challenging. Is there no room for rest from these crosses? Can’t we put them down today and pick them up again tomorrow? As a matter of fact, our experience shows that there is always some obstacle we must hurdle daily, be it in terms of personal struggles, family concerns, work-related issues, and civic duties. But let us remember that we are not alone in this task: Jesus is with us, helping us carry our daily crosses.


Do we accept Jesus’ challenge to follow Him and carry our crosses daily?


SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail:; Website:

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