Luke 14:27

ESV Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
NIV And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
NASB Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
CSB Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
NLT And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.
KJV And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
NKJV And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

What does Luke 14:27 mean?

Jesus is repeating to a crowd what He has already told the Twelve about being His disciple (Luke 9:23–24). He began by saying His disciples need to be so devoted to Him that their love for family looks like hate in comparison (Luke 14:26). Finishing off His warning that disciples must be willing to die for Him, Jesus explains they must be willing to die in the most humiliating and excruciating way possible.

These are not requirements to acquire salvation. Rather, they are part of a lifestyle which must be adopted to be a long-lasting, useful disciple (Luke 14:34–35). We cannot earn salvation, even by dying a martyr's death. Salvation must be humbly accepted when God offers (Luke 14:16–24).

The term "bear his own cross" is often misinterpreted. It does not mean to endure a particular long-term hardship, although Jesus followers are often called to do so. It means to be willing to follow Jesus even if the repercussions are death. Losing a job, a business, or a social media account is not the same. The persecution Jesus is talking about is physical death, the horrors of which pale in comparison to the spiritual life God promises (Luke 12:4–5).

Discipleship in the culture of Jesus' era was a serious decision. Students find a teacher whose character and doctrine are trustworthy and devote themselves to the teacher's way of life. Choosing to become Jesus' disciple demands a hard look at the sacrifices required as well as the blessings He promises.

Prepositions in Greek are not as distinct as English. In Luke 14:26, Jesus says coming "to" Him requires valuing Him more than family or self. Here, He says coming "after" Him requires carrying one's cross. The concepts are two different ways of talking about one ongoing relationship.
What is the Gospel?
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