And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; and they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles; and they will mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise.”
And James and John, the sons of Zeb′edee, came forward to him, and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:32-45
Can you drink from the same cup as Jesus? Are you ready to serve, not be served? Can you share in Christ’s death on the cross as a ransom for many? Jesus called the 12 disciples to service and salvation through suffering. Jesus is calling you in the same way, to be a servant to your spouse and family, laying down your life for the good of their souls.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27
Picture Jesus nailed to the cross, arms outstretched in love. Jesus is calling men to share in His suffering on the cross. Husbands are called to love their wives in the same way that Jesus loved His bride, the Church, dying for her on the cross. As Jesus gave His all for all humanity, husbands are to give their all in service to their wives. Your wife is made holy and clean through your self-sacrificial love for her. Christ held nothing back for His bride and you are called to do the same for your bride. Wives, your task is to let your husbands love you with the self-sacrificial love of Christ.
“If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26-27
To be a disciple requires that Jesus be first place in your life. Your own wants and desires must be subordinate to the will of Christ. Every day you need to make a decision to follow Jesus, to love like Jesus, and to serve like Jesus. Discipleship brings change, in yourself, your relationships and in the world. Follow Jesus, sacrifice your life for the betterment of your family, and see the miraculous things that will happen!
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2
To love your spouse sacrificially is to share in the cross of Jesus. Jesus died on the cross out of love for each of us; most often that love and sacrifice is rejected. Look at the times you may have rejected the love of Christ in your life, the times you may have placed your selfish desires ahead of God’s perfect will for you. In spite of rejection, Jesus still loves the sinner. To be like Christ, spouses need to love each other sacrificially, even in times when that love may not be returned. A sacrifice made in love makes you holy. Your self-sacrificial love for your spouse and children will also make them holy, washed in the blood of Christ.
For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband. 1 Corinthians 7:14
To be like Christ, we must share in His sufferings on the cross. To love means to suffer much. Christ did not count the cost of dying for the sins of the world. He willingly gave up His life for the salvation of many. Serve your family in self-sacrificial love. Blessings will flow out from your sacrifice. It is the way of the cross.
Blessings upon you, O Holy men and women of God.