Read Luke 9:18-27.
“Identify” seems to be the word of the decade. People can identify, it seems, as anything they want, even as Christians. Jesus asked His disciples how the crowds identified Him. “John the Baptist” or “a prophet” were among the answers. Jesus had already demonstrated that He was a worker of miracles, a healer, and a master teacher. He also had been known for taking the prerogatives of God for Himself. People today often “identify” Jesus in their own image. But, Jesus’s identity is much, much more. Peter had the right answer. “God’s Messiah,” he answered. It is ultimately important that we identify Jesus by who He really is: truly God, truly man, and the Savior of all who would make Him Savior and Lord. This is the basis of His call on not just the disciples but on all believers to follow Him.
Jesus’s identity is the foundation. The conditions of His call was an understanding of His true mission. Jesus told the disciples all the things that would happen to Him in Jerusalem. He called all these things “necessary.” Why? In order to make a lifetime commitment, one must know the seriousness of that commitment and the requirements of that commitment. Jesus calls on His disciples to deny themselves, take up their crosses, and follow Him. This means a lifestyle of self-sacrificial love which makes no truck with self-interest. It is costly and it is not about ourselves. Are there obstacles today which need to be overcome to be identified with Jesus? Confess them to God today and turn from them.