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Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Although I know that the word “cakewalk” refers to something that’s really easy to do, it has a special meaning to me. You see, when I was a kid, I remember being involved in what we called cakewalks over at the church, usually during some kind of dinner or social. Now, I’m not sure if what we did followed any official, “cakewalk rules”, but this is what would happen. A bunch of ladies would bake cakes, and we’d line them up on a table. And in front of each cake, there was a number that matched a number on the floor. Now these particular numbers formed a circle or a square, and the church sold the number of chances that matched the number of cakes. Anyway, people would go to a certain number, some music would start playing and those involved would walk from number to number until the music stopped. And when it stopped, you’d “win” the cake that matched your number. Now, I use the word “win” in the broadest sense of the word, because onside of counting and being able to identify numbers, this game took no skill at all. And it was impossible to lose. Growing up, our cakewalks really were a cakewalk.
But I’ll tell you, according to what Jesus said to his disciples, we really can’t apply this word to the life of discipleship. In other words, it’s just not easy to follow Christ. It demands patience and strength and endurance. It means standing up for something because it’s right not easy and putting yourself second rather than first and following the example of Jesus even though that may take you to places you didn’t plain to go. I guess you could say, living like a Christian isn’t for wimps; it’s no cakewalk. But I’ll tell you, like the ones I remember from childhood, we’ll most definitely win in the end.