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Luke 9:23-24

Context
A Call to Discipleship

9:23 Then 1  he said to them all, 2  “If anyone wants to become my follower, 3  he must deny 4  himself, take up his cross daily, 5  and follow me. 9:24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, 6  but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.

1 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

2 sn Here them all could be limited to the disciples, since Jesus was alone with them in v. 18. It could also be that by this time the crowd had followed and found him, and he addressed them, or this could be construed as a separate occasion from the discussion with the disciples in 9:18-22. The cost of discipleship is something Jesus was willing to tell both insiders and outsiders about. The rejection he felt would also fall on his followers.

3 tn Grk “to come after me.”

4 tn This translation better expresses the force of the Greek third person imperative than the traditional “let him deny,” which could be understood as merely permissive.

5 sn Only Luke mentions taking up one’s cross daily. To bear the cross means to accept the rejection of the world for turning to Jesus and following him. Discipleship involves a death that is like a crucifixion; see Gal 6:14.

6 sn The point of the saying whoever wants to save his life will lose it is that if one comes to Jesus then rejection by many will certainly follow. If self-protection is a key motivation, then one will not respond to Jesus and will not be saved. One who is willing to risk rejection will respond and find true life.



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