Matthew 16:24
Then said Jesus to his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Jump to: BarnesClarkeGillGSBJFBMHCPNTWES
16:24-28 A true disciple of Christ is one that does follow him in duty, and shall follow him to glory. He is one that walks in the same way Christ walked in, is led by his Spirit, and treads in his steps, whithersoever he goes. Let him deny himself. If self-denial be a hard lesson, it is no more than what our Master learned and practised, to redeem us, and to teach us. Let him take up his cross. The cross is here put for every trouble that befalls us. We are apt to think we could bear another's cross better than our own; but that is best which is appointed us, and we ought to make the best of it. We must not by our rashness and folly pull crosses down upon our own heads, but must take them up when they are in our way. If any man will have the name and credit of a disciple, let him follow Christ in the work and duty of a disciple. If all worldly things are worthless when compared with the life of the body, how forcible the same argument with respect to the soul and its state of never-ending happiness or misery! Thousands lose their souls for the most trifling gain, or the most worthless indulgence, nay, often from mere sloth and negligence. Whatever is the object for which men forsake Christ, that is the price at which Satan buys their souls. Yet one soul is worth more than all the world. This is Christ's judgment upon the matter; he knew the price of souls, for he redeemed them; nor would he underrate the world, for he made it. The dying transgressor cannot purchase one hour's respite to seek mercy for his perishing soul. Let us then learn rightly to value our souls, and Christ as the only Saviour of them.This discourse is also recorded in Mark 8:34-38; Mark 9:1; and Luke 9:23-27.

Let him, deny himself - That is, let him surrender to God his will, his affections, his body, and his soul. Let him not seek his own happiness as the supreme object, but be willing to renounce all, and lay down his life also, if required.

Take up his cross - See the notes at Matthew 10:38.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples,.... Knowing that they had all imbibed the same notion of a temporal kingdom, and were in expectation of worldly riches, honour, and pleasure; he took this opportunity of preaching the doctrine of the cross to them, and of letting them know, that they must prepare for persecutions, sufferings, and death; which they must expect to endure, as well as he, if they would be his disciples:

if any man will come after me: that is, be a disciple and follower of him, it being usual for the master to go before, and the disciple to follow after him: now let it be who it will, rich or poor, learned or unlearned, young or old, male or female, that have any inclination and desire, or have took up a resolution in the strength of grace, to be a disciple of Christ,

let him deny himself: let him deny sinful self, ungodliness, and worldly lusts; and part with them, and his former sinful companions, which were as a part of himself: let him deny righteous self, and renounce all his own works of righteousness, in the business of justification and salvation; let him deny himself the pleasures and profits of this world, when in competition with Christ; let him drop and banish all his notions and expectations of an earthly kingdom, and worldly grandeur, and think of nothing but reproach, persecution, and death, for the sake of his Lord and Master: and

take up his cross; cheerfully receive, and patiently bear, every affliction and evil, however shameful and painful it may be, which is appointed for him, and he is called unto; which is his peculiar cross, as every Christian has his own; to which he should quietly submit, and carry, with an entire resignation to the will of God, in imitation of his Lord:

and follow me; in the exercise of grace, as humility, zeal, patience, and self-denial; and in the discharge of every duty, moral, or evangelical; and through sufferings and death, to his kingdom and glory. The allusion is, to Christ's bearing his own cross, and Simeon's carrying it after him, which afterwards came to pass.

{10} Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

(10) No men do more harm to themselves, than they that love themselves more than God.

24. Then said Jesus unto his disciples—Mark (Mr 8:34) says, "When He had called the people unto Him, with His disciples also, He said unto them"—turning the rebuke of one into a warning to all.

If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Will come after me - i.e. to be my disciple. This discourse was intended to show Peter and the rest of the disciples the nature of his kingdom; and that the honor that cometh from the world was not to be expected by those who followed Christ.

The principles of the Christian life are:

First. To have a sincere desire to belong to Christ - If any man be Willing to be my disciple, etc.

Secondly. To renounce self-dependence, and selfish pursuits - Let him deny Himself.

Thirdly. To embrace the condition which God has appointed, and bear the troubles and difficulties he may meet with in walking the Christian road - Let him take up His Cross.

Fourthly. To imitate Jesus, and do and suffer all in his spirit - Let him Follow Me.

Let him deny himself - Απαρνησασθω may well be interpreted, Let him deny, or renounce, himself fully - in all respects - perseveringly. It is a compounded word, and the preposition απο abundantly increases the meaning. A follower of Christ will need to observe it in its utmost latitude of meaning, in order to be happy here, and glorious hereafter. A man's self is to him the prime cause of most of his miseries. See the note on Mark 8:34.

16:24 If any man be willing to come after me - None is forced; but if any will be a Christian, it must be on these terms, Let him deny himself, and take up his cross - A rule that can never be too much observed: let him in all things deny his own will, however pleasing, and do the will of God, however painful. Should we not consider all crosses, all things grievous to flesh and blood, as what they really are, as opportunities of embracing God's will at the expense of our own? And consequently as so many steps by which we may advance toward perfection? We should make a swift progress in the spiritual life, if we were faithful in this practice. Crosses are so frequent, that whoever makes advantage of them, will soon be a great gainer. Great crosses are occasions of great improvement: and the little ones, which come daily, and even hourly, make up in number what they want in weight. We may in these daily and hourly crosses make effectual oblations of our will to God; which oblations, so frequently repeated, will soon amount to a great sum. Let us remember then (what can never be sufficiently inculcated) that God is the author of all events: that none is so small or inconsiderable, as to escape his notice and direction. Every event therefore declares to us the will of God, to which thus declared we should heartily submit. We should renounce our own to embrace it; we should approve and choose what his choice warrants as best for us. Herein should we exercise ourselves continually; this should be our practice all the day long. We should in humility accept the little crosses that are dispensed to us, as those that best suit our weakness. Let us bear these little things, at least for God's sake, and prefer his will to our own in matters of so small importance. And his goodness will accept these mean oblations; for he despiseth not the day of small things. Matt 10:38. 16:24 If any man will come after me. Compare Mr 8:34-38 Lu 9:23-27. The conditions of discipleship are presented.

Let him deny himself. Let him be prepared to say no to many of the strongest cravings of his nature, in the direction more particularly of earthly ease, comfort, dignity, and glory.

Take up his cross. Luke adds daily (Lu 9:23); not once, but all the time. The cross is the pain of the self-denial required in the preceding words. The cross is the symbol of doing our duty, even at the cost of the most painful death.

And follow me. To follow Christ is to take him for our master, our teacher, our example; to believe his doctrines, to uphold his cause, to obey his precepts, and to do it though it leads to heaven by way of the cross.

Matthew 16:23
Top of Page
Top of Page




Bible Apps.com