It comes as no surprise that Jesus demanded of His disciples no less than what was demanded of Himself. Jesus told His disciples, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day” (Luke 9:22). Then He told them, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” (v. 23).
There is a parallel between what Jesus would eventually do and what His disciples must do. Both must deny their personal and selfish wills, be willing to lay down their lives for others, and submit to God’s will.
Sadly, many believers in Jesus Christ welcome Jesus into their life as Savior, gladly accepting what Jesus offers, redemption from the guilt of sin, but they reject Jesus as their Lord. They do this by completely ignoring Jesus’ authority as King in His kingdom and inventing their own selfish ways to worship Him, providing all kinds of earthly attractions and entertainment that makes them happy, all under the guise of worship to God (Just observe how worship in many churches in our area have evolved into high tech light and special effects performances in a concert-like atmosphere).
They invent “good works” which they believe are done in Jesus’ name, that is, with His approval, when in fact they only act on what they feel is right and what makes them feel good. Of these people, Jesus will say, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23). With such people, Jesus is just their Savior, not their Lord!