Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. (Matthew 16:24-27)
We are called to carry our Cross. No one else can carry your cross. It is your personal responsibility. You must not be focused whether it is hard or easy to carry it. All you need to focus is that it is the right thing to do. Because in the Gospel Jesus Christ himself made it very clear that you need to carry it.
Jesus said, “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:27)
1 Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. 3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 7 But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.
8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
9 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
Zacchaeus was a Jew and one of the descendents of Abraham. He was also a great sinner. Tax collectors were hated in those days very greatly because they misused their authority. These tax collectors worked not for the Jews but for the Romans who had conquered Israel. They cheated both the people and the government and kept huge sums of money for themselves. While the poor kept getting poor they kept getting rich.
Jesus the Son of God was aware that Zacchaeus was looking for a way out. Zacchaeus was fed up of sinning and needed salvation. He was aware that collecting so much money was not going to get him to a good place after he dies. Now Jesus preached the Gospel where ever he went. So somehow Jesus’ message must have reached Zacchaeus and he sought the way to meet the Lord Jesus.
Due to his short height Zacchaeus tried to see Jesus in Jericho on a tree. Yes, he needed a better vantage point. Sometimes to look at the Lord Jesus you need to stop letting others obstruct your view in their way of life. It was the nature of the people to be taller that Zacchaeus and it was his nature to not let that come in the way of seeing Jesus.
Jesus rewarded his faith by asking that he be a guest at Zacchaeus’ house. This didn’t go well with others who despised Zaccheaus and grumbled. They didn’t see the point of Jesus going to his house.
Now Jesus the Lord was not considered as the Lord by the scribes and the Pharisees of the Jewish faith. They didn’t acknowledge him as the Son of God who would come to save not just the Jews but also the Gentiles from their sins. Though it was mentioned in the prophecies about Jesus, they willfully chose to ignore it. However, when Jesus came to Jericho, that day there was one man who did call him Lord no matter what the religious elite felt.
Zacchaeus called Jesus as the Lord. He realized his need to repent of his sins and accept the Lord as his savior. He recognized that Jesus is the Lamb of God who comes to take the sins of the world and happy was he to receive him under his roof. Though all he had to do was to accept Jesus as the Son of God, he went to declare he will make good all the losses to those whom he had cheated.
Jesus went to say that salvation came to this man’s house and reminded people of his ministry which to seek and save the lost. Christ even today seeks and save the lost. He still through his disciples on earth tries to reach out to those who yearn for salvation. He accepts even the worst of sinners in to the Kingdom of God. Those who are ‘public’ sinners like drug sellers, racists and even terrorists too can receive salvation from Jesus if they turn away from their sinful ways and accept Jesus as the true Lord.
Why was Jesus born?
Answer : Jesus was born because God wanted to save mankind and give us eternal life through him. All have sinned. Sin brought it it death to the human race. However, nobody could have gained salvation by their own works or efforts. So God sent his only son Jesus to come as a man and reconcile all people unto God.
Bible verses to reflect on:
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost
- Happy Birthday and Happy Birthday to the Lord Jesus Christ Aka Christ Jesus (shawneejohnsonministries.wordpress.com)
- True Meaning (dontgetcomfortableblog.wordpress.com)
- WHY JESUS CAME- He Came to Save Us (heulu.wordpress.com)
- The First Christmas Gift (revsalmancini.wordpress.com)
- Jesus Is the Reason for the Season (grethestanley.wordpress.com)
You are the sons and daughters of Christ,
Christ is the King of All.
A King has soldiers,
You are his soldiers, ahoy.
The great King is the king of light,
So are the soldiers of light!
Spread light everywhere, soldiers!
March forward and never backtrack.
The nature of light is to dispel darkness,
A soldier of light repels darkness.
Soldiers of Christ arise,
Walk from age to age.
Spread hope where there is none,
Give the Gospel and you give hope.
Fear not the enemy one bit,
For Christ has won it all.
Trample snakes and scorpions, them all,
You have authority use it.
All the enemies weapons against us are useless,
Hold on to the truth and fight back.
Heal the sick and never pass out,
Condemn the accusers and their lot.
This is your heritage O Soldier,
Live in it strongly now my friend.
Born a Soldier in the Lord,
Don’t try to become for you already are.
The angels will come at the world’s end,
To help you soldier of faith to survive in glory.
Keep steady, speak life in abundance,
Pray in the success that Christ has won.
Bear the standard of the cross.
By it are the evil powers defeated.
Christ will come again O soldier.
So stand firm when final judgment arrives.
Wear the armor of God, will ye then?
Rise up for the Savior again and again.
Scripture references :
Romans 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Mark 16:18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
Luke 10:19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.
Isaiah 54: 16-17 Behold, I have created the smith that blows the coals in the fire, and that brings forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. 17 No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, said the LORD.
Isaiah 54: 15 Watch! If anyone does attack you, it will not be from me; whoever may attack you will fall because of you.
Matthew 28:19-29 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 13:41-43 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Anyone who has ears should listen!
Colossians 2:15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.
Colossians 2:10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.
John 12:31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.
1 Corinthians 15:24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.
Psalm 144:1 Of David. Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;
Ephesians 6:11-17 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace..