“Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:38-39).
I confess. When I read passages like this I immediately consider them as a parable or an allegory.
Jesus could not have meant this literally…right? Right?
But, what if, because we have been treating texts like this as a parable or an allegory, what if, modern day Christians have taken passages like this way too lightly? What if there is more truth to passages like this than we would like to think?
The Christian missionary movement would not have ever happened if everyone took these passages allegorically.
A century ago, a band of brave souls became known as one-way missionaries. They purchased single tickets to the mission field without the return half. And instead of suitcases, they packed their few earthly belongings into coffins. As they sailed out of port, they waved good-bye to everyone they loved, everything they knew. They knew they’d never return home.
A. W. Milne was one of those missionaries. He set sail for the New Hebrides in the South Pacific, knowing full well that the headhunters who lived there had martyred every missionary before him. Milne did not fear for his life, because he had already died to himself. His coffin was packed. For thirty-five years, he lived among that tribe and loved them. When he died, tribe members buried him in the middle of their village and inscribed this epitaph on his tombstone:
When he came there was no light;
When he left there was no darkness.