“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.”
A paradox is a statement that seems contradictory or opposed to common sense, but is true. The statement Jesus reveals is one of life’s greatest paradoxes. Man was created to know God. Jesus said that He came to “give us life and that more abundantly.” When our lives are lived in complete obedience to the Lord, we experience the height of living. When we hold back, unwilling to give ourselves, our time, or some sinful activity; we think we are gaining, we think we are better off. That very thing we are holding onto, is the very thing keeping us from the abundant life Jesus created for us.
Knowing this, Jesus asks two questions. First, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)
If true life is found in surrender to Christ, then what would be the benefit of holding onto all the world offers? Imagine if your phone were to ring this morning, and on the other end of the call were all the world leaders. They had decided that the best thing for mankind was to make you king of the world. You get the title, the robe, the crown, the chair and all the world’s goods are now yours. You possess all the wealth and all the power of the whole world. There is nothing you cannot have. The catch… you must deny Jesus. You can have this life but not eternal life. That my friends is a losing proposition. The right response is to hang up the phone.
Knowing that will not happen; knowing that no man has ever gained the whole world, Jesus asks a second question,
“What will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36)
You cannot have everything, so is there anything you are holding onto that is robbing you from the life Jesus has for you?Perhaps a relationship you thought would satisfy you, so you began to compromise your walk with the Lord; only to find that it is robbing you of the life found in Christ. Whatever it may be, anything you are holding onto, lay it all down and follow Christ.
Questions for Mark 8
- How does Jesus feel about the multitude?
- Who did use to minister to the multitude?
- How do you think Jesus might want to use you today to minister to others?
- What lesson do you think Jesus wanted the disciples to learn from the feeding of the multitudes?
- How is the healing of the blind man different than other healings Jesus performed?
- What does that teach about God’s methods?
- From verse 34, what are the requirements for being a disciple of Jesus?
- Have you obeyed verse 34? If not, why not? Take a closer look at verses 36-37.
- Take some time to pray that you would be able to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Jesus.