Matthew 16:24

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
If any man will come. St. Chrysostom, Euthymius, and Theophylactus, show that free will is confirmed by these words. Do not expect, O Peter, that since you have confessed me to be the Son of God, you are immediately to be crowned, as if this were sufficient for salvation, and that the rest of your days may be spent in idleness and pleasure. For, although by my power, as Son of God, I could free you from every danger and trouble, yet this I will not do for your sake, that you may yourself contribute to your glory, and become the more illustrious. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lvi.)

John Chrysostom

AD 407
But see how at the same time He makes His saying not a grievous one. For He does by no means compass them only with His terror, but He also puts forth the doctrine generally to the world, saying, If any one will, be it woman or man, ruler or subject, let him come this way. And though he seem to have spoken but one single thing, yet His sayings are three, Let him renounce himself, and Let him bear his cross, and Let him follow me; and two of them are joined together, but the one is put by itself. But let us see first what it can be to deny one's self. Let us learn first what it is to deny another, and then we shall know what it may be to deny one's self. What then is it to deny another? He that is denying another—for example, either brother, or servant, or whom you will,— should he see him either beaten, or bound, or led to execution, or whatever he may suffer, stands not by him, does not help him, is not moved, feels nothing for him, as being once for all alienated from him. Thus...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
When did he teach this? When Peter said, “God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” And when Peter was told, “Get behind me, Satan,” Jesus did not merely rebuke Peter. He was willing to teach him more fully of the benefit of his Passion and about the exceeding confusion in what Peter had said. So he responds in effect: “Your word to me is that this shall never happen to me, but my word to you is ‘Not only is this hurtful to you, and destructive, to hinder me and be displeased at my Passion.’ But more so it will be impossible for you even to be saved, unless you yourself are continually prepared for death.” So, lest anyone should imagine that his suffering was unworthy of him, he teaches them what great gain will come from it. This applies not only to his former afflictions but also to those yet to come. Later he will teach in John’s Gospel that “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” So he now begins discu...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
"Then" — when? When He had rebuked Peter. Wishing to show that Peter erred in hindering Him from suffering, He said, "You are hindering Me, but I say to you that not only is My not suffering harmful to you [since without it you cannot be saved], but neither can you be saved unless you yourself also die, nor can anyone else, whether man or woman, rich or poor. He says "desireth’’ to show that virtue hinges on free will and not coercion. He who follows behind Jesus is not he who only confesses Him to be the Son of God, but rather it is he who also undergoes all tribulations and endures them. Christ’s words, "Let him deny himself," indicate utter denial. That is to say, let him not be kindly disposed towards his own body, let him look down on it, just as we have the expression "So and so denied so and so." Therefore no one should have any friendship towards the body, so that he can take up his cross, that is, choose death and even eagerly desire the most ignominious death, for this is wha...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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