Last time we heard Jesus' words, â€śif anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.â€ť
Jesus bids you come and die. Deny yourself â€“ turn away from yourself! Take up your cross â€“ come and die! Follow Jesus!
He does not mean â€śtry harder.â€ť He means â€ścome and dieâ€ť!
And as we saw last time, the power of the gospel is the cross. Because in the cross, the final judgment has happened â€“ to Jesus.
Jesus has endured the last days wrath of God. And therefore, all those who are united to Christ by faith pass through death â€“ and the final judgment â€“ and are united to his resurrection life!
But the disciples don't get it.
How is it that Jesus can speak to the disciples as a faithless and twisted generation, and then Paul can speak of the Philippians as â€śshiningâ€ť in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation? Paul seems to believe that you are not part of that twisted generation anymore!
That is what Jesus is doing in verses 20ff. He casts the demon out of the boy â€“ just as he will cast the devil out in his death. How long will Jesus have to be with this foolish and faithless generation? Until he changes their hearts!