“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”
This is the next verse of our study of Matthew 16:24-27. Let’s dive right in.
As established in the last article, “whoever” means anyone or everyone. “Wants” means to wish or desire. These two words are the same as used in the previous verse.
“To save” is a new one. It basically means to rescue or keep safe. “Loses” used both times does not mean lose, it actually means to destroy. So everyone who desires to keep his life safe shall have their life destroyed, but whoever destroys his life shall find it. This is confusing, and must be taken beyond the Greek. Jesus is referring to your sinful life, the one that is self-centered (as discussed in the previous article). If you give up this life, then you will gain a much higher-purposed life.
“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”
This verse is simple to understand. Good means basically to profit, or be useful or advantageous. To gain the whole world simply means to acquire the entire universe (not just world). The word “forfeit” is interesting. The original Greek is “zēmioō”, which actually means either “to do damage” or “to receive damage”. In this case, it could be considered both. It also means to suffer loss or to be cast away. So basically, it loses your soul.
The next part, “Or what will a man give for his soul?” is more literal than other parts of this passage and basically means that your soul is priceless.
“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.”
The final verse in our study is simple. Jesus will come in His Father’s glory (Amen!) and then he shall reward us according to what we have done in our lives. (This is not to be confused with Salvation, which is not based on deeds but only on Jesus Christ. This means that we can receive different awards for different things that we do on earth that are separate from salvation.)
Putting It Together
Jesus commanded His disciples and all Christians, “Whoever, anyone, and everyone who wants or desires to come or follow after me, he must lose sight of himself and take up his cross and become my disciple and accompany me as my attendant. For whoever, anyone, and everyone who desires to keep their lives safe will find their lives destroyed, and whoever destroys their life of sin will find it renewed in Christ Jesus.
“How would it profit a man to acquire the entire universe as their own, yet destroys and casts away their soul in the process? For the Lord Jesus Christ is coming in all of His glory and reward us to different degrees according to what we have done for Him. Amen”