Jesus' Questions: Day 4

What Good Will It Be for Someone to Gain the Whole World, Yet Forfeit Their Soul?

Read Matthew 16:24–27
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?"
What does it mean to gain the whole world and lose your soul? Jesus surely meant this question in the ultimate sense—without giving your life to Christ and trusting Him for your salvation, it doesn’t matter what worldly possessions or status or experiences you have, your soul will be lost, un-reconciled to God. This question also seems apt in a less ultimate sense. Perhaps you’ve been at the top of your profession and feel purposeless. Maybe you’ve made more money than you ever thought you could and feel lacking. Maybe you’ve indulged in every pleasure you can think of and feel empty. Sometimes even when we’ve given our lives to Christ, we still chase after other things to fulfill our deepest longings. Jesus invites us to believe certain things about Him, but His most consistent invitation is to follow Him. When our culture calls to us to follow money, status, or experiences, Jesus calls us back to Himself: "Follow me." 

  • Imagine Jesus asking you the question He asked His disciples, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” What strikes you about this question? What comes to mind?
  • Reflect on a time you have followed after things other than Jesus. How did you feel? How did you sense Jesus calling you back to Himself?
  • What is Jesus inviting you to consider or believe about Him as you reflect on His question, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”

God, thank You for salvation through Jesus. Nothing I do can adequately express my gratitude, but I want my life to reflect my thanks. Help me to stay focused on what matters and not chase after fleeting experiences or pleasures. Show me the way; keep me on course. Fill me with Your love so that I can love. Amen.

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