Matthew 16:21-26: Take Up Your Cross


Matthew 16:21-26 (NRSV)

Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection
21 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

The Cross and Self-Denial
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?

What do you notice about the exchange between Peter and Jesus (vv 22-23)?
What do you think Jesus is getting at by saying his followers must “deny themselves” and “take up their cross”?
How do you make sense of Jesus’s words about saving versus losing one’s life?



If you enjoyed listening, please consider subscribing to our podcast via the iTunes Podcast directory.