Series 2 - Lesson 5 - Annotation 9
Explain the Scripture, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matt. 16:24).
9. As the lesson material brings out, when Jesus said these words He was speaking from His Christ or I AM Self. He meant that if anyone desires to come into the understanding, freedom, and abundance of life which the Christ consciousness affords, he must drop from consciousness ("deny himself") all error beliefs and accept the truth of himself as the beloved son of God with a divine inheritance.
Because "deny" also means, according to Webster's dictionary, "to disclaim connection with" [something] we realize that the denial to which Jesus is referring is our "disclaiming connection" with anything less than God's plan of perfection for us in mind, body, and affairs. We fulfill Jesus' command to "follow me" when we raise our consciousness to that of the Christ standard; when we are willing, if need be, to pray as Jesus did "all night in prayer to God" (Luke 6:12).
To "follow me" is to live the laws of God in every phase of our experience. We seek to know God as the source of life, so that health, vitality, strength, wholeness may manifest in our body. As we recognize God as the source of abundance, we are able to manifest prosperity in our affairs according to our special needs. Jesus saw God, the Father of us all, as the source to which every man must turn for fulfillment in his life.
By following Jesus' injunction, we are not denying good; we are refusing or erasing error concepts so that we are able to open our life to a greater inflow of God's good. So long as we are bound by misconceptions of ourself, other people, God's world, we cannot follow Jesus on the path of overcoming and freedom. We can discover the method that is best for us individually to follow only as we turn in prayer to our own Christ presence — God in us. The Christ within is the "me" to which Jesus refers, as the lesson material pointed out.
Preceding Entry: What have affirmations to do with making thoughts substantial (establishing faith) in consciousness?
Following Entry: What is "the world"?