Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.” Mark 8:34.
We have access to many books written about leadership and how to lead. One quote about leadership says… First things First. Do you recall the childhood game – Follow the Leader? I remember feeling bored, wishing the current leader would make the game more exciting.
Jesus looked for followers while he was on earth. His followers needed to desire to follow Jesus and they must know they give up their lives to Jesus and because of the Good News. Sounds like a dangerous mission. And what is this Good News?
If we would follow Jesus, consider how He gave up His home in Heaven, beside God His Father, and all His glory to go to earth. On earth Jesus was ridiculed, not believed, and finally crucified. After three days, Jesus was raised from the dead. The ‘Why’ of this example of leadership is motivated by the greatest force in Heaven and on Earth. The force of Love is behind His willingness to lead by the way of the cross.
The ‘Why’ of following Jesus is our love for the One who endured the cross for us. We love Him, because He first loved us. Giving up our lives for the sake of Jesus — means our desires and wants, come second. Living for Jesus is our primary goal in life. We study his word and follow his commandments. There are only two.
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39.
If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. Mark 8:35.