July 16, 2010

Contradictory Truth

Luke 9:21-27

“Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”
Luke 9:24


Some of the truths in Christianity sound contradictory—they seem to go against logic or common sense. Sharing to become wealthy? Lowering yourself to rise higher? Losing your life to save it? These ideas show us deep dimensions of being Jesus’ disciples.

Before teaching these paradoxes, Jesus calls to mind his death on the cross. He says, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Then he says, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”

Christ opened the way to life through death on a cross. Not obsessed to save his own life, he became the source of life to all who trust in him. Now this same principle takes on meaning for Jesus’ followers.

As disciples of Christ, we should train every day to give of ourselves in service to our community. This means throwing away selfishness and personal ego to live a humble life of self-denial that serves others.

What kinds of efforts and sacrifices are we making as Jesus’ disciples? Jesus says we must deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow him. We must be true disciples who face up to the challenges of living for Christ each day in this world, setting aside our own comforts and desires to reach out to others for the sake of God’s kingdom.

Lord, we confess that we are often selfish. Instead of sharing with others, we try to take all we can. Please help us to give of ourselves for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

About the author — Jang Ho Park

Jang Ho Park is a pastor in Tacoma, Washington. He and his wife, Jong Boon, have two sons.

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