Theology Thursday 22 – The Other Commandments pt 4

Theology Thursday 22 – The Other Commandments pt 4

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What does it mean to deny yourself and pick up your cross daily? Oftentimes we associate this verse with denying your flesh. What if Jesus wasn’t referring to our carnal desires? What if Jesus was referring to our egos or the mental images that we create about ourselves, neighbors and society as a whole? Watch TT22 as we discuss an alternate way to think of denying yourself and taking up your cross.

Scripture Reference

Luke 9

23 Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.[1]



  • Prior to this Jesus fed 5000
  • Peter recognizes him as the Messiah
  • Jesus foretells of his death and resurrection
  • The saying contains three imperatives or commands: deny yourself, take up the cross, and follow me[2]
  • This is a message to the crowd (and disciples)
  • In the context of the story Jesus was forewarning those who followed him of their upcoming difficulties


Reflection Questions


What is “the self”?  What does it mean to deny yourself?

The self

  1. the ego; that which knows, remembers, desires, suffers, etc., as contrasted with that known, remembered, etc.
  2. the uniting principle, as a soul, underlying all subjective experience.
  3. Yourself image of who you think you are
    1. Who are you

Thoughts on the ego

Your ego and your spirit can never be co-creators, but your spirit and Creator will always be.[3]

It has never really entered your mind to give up every idea you ever had that opposes knowledge (Sophia).  Your retain thousands of little scraps of fear that prevent the Holy One from entering.  Light cannot penetrate through the walls you make to block it. And it is forever unwilling to destroy what you have made.[4]

We must live a life of self-denial, mortification, and contempt of the world; we must not indulge our ease and appetite, for then it will be hard to bear toil, and weariness, and want, for Christ[5]

What are God and/or Jesus asking you to deny?

The ego says in order to feel good I need “X”

The ego says you can’t do “X” because of “X”

So Deny anything:

  • That is a distraction from hearing God’s voice
  • That is pleasing to the flesh but is in opposition to the Mind of God


So what is preventing you from denying self?


What is your cross?

Your cross is your mission, purpose or reason for being here.  Your cross is your calling.

If you do not know your calling, start here:

  • Your cross or calling is your expression of God’s love to humanity or the world.

Do those who follow Christ have to suffer when they carry their cross?


Those who were persecuted for being Christians in modern time

Oregon Students shot for being Christian


Remember for a short time Jesus struggled with his mission

Mark 14:32–42

The benefit of denying yourself

  • God’s voice becomes clearer

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Lk 9:23). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] Culpepper, R. A. (1994–2004). The Gospel of Luke. In L. E. Keck (Ed.), New Interpreter’s Bible (Vol. 9, p. 202). Nashville: Abingdon Press.

[3] A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume. Glen Elen, CA: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1992. 58-59. Print.

[4] A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume. Glen Elen, CA: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1992. 58-59. Print.

[5] Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 1852). Peabody: Hendrickson.