What does Jesus mean, when he says (Luke 9: 23) “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
What does it mean to walk the path of self-sacrificing (“he must deny himself”) love?
Remember when Jesus asks Peter three times (John 21:15-17), “Do you (truly) love me (more than these)?”
Peter replies, “You know that I love you!”
So what? What does that love look like to Jesus? – “Feed my sheep. Tend my sheep. Feed my sheep.”
Yet, notice, Jesus’ love isn’t conditional. He doesn’t say “If you love me, you would do this for me.”
Jesus asks, simply – “Do you love me?”
And only after Peter says “yes” freely does Jesus share what it looks like to love him.
So we don’t have to say to one another- “If you love me (or Jesus), you would do/say/believe these things for me.”
Rather, we proclaim to God alone – “You know that I love you!” and no matter what, every day I promise You that I will “feed Your sheep,” “tend Your sheep,” “feed Your sheep.”
Our love for Jesus is ultimately expressed in our love for others.. those seemingly part of the flock and those seemingly lost.
He loved us unto death.Yet He died so that we could Live.
He asks us if we love Him, and when we freely say yes to Him, He asks us to Love one another – feed one another, tend to one another, feed one another.
Even in the hard times, when it’s a cross to love one another. When we feel like we’re being crucified.
When we follow the path of Christ, we follow the hard and narrow path of the new commandment (John 13:34) “Love one another. As I have loved you, you must love one another.”