Then Jesus told his disciples,
“If anyone would come after me,
let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
For whoever would save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
will find it.
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world
and forfeits his soul?
Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
This is the upside-down economy of Jesus! No wonder the legalistic Pharisees hated Him. They wanted a neat list of rules to follow. It might have made for a dull life, but they could feel good about themselves.
“We are doing the right things.”
“We are on the right path.”
“We are better than everyone else!”
Jesus’ message turned their world upside-down! Lose your life (and its values) for me…and you will save your life!
Of course the Pharisees hated Jesus! If He was who He said He was, they and their lifestyles were going to have to change dramatically!
If He was who He said He was (and they hoped He wasn’t) their whole way of life was over…and it was the wrong way to go!
They would no longer be able to hide behind their religious rules and ignore the poor and suffering.
They would no longer be able to walk through the crowds in their beautiful robes, strutting pompously…knowing they were better than all the others. They would need to take on true humility, even bending low to care for some of these dirty, unclean people.
The thought was too repulsive for most of them to even consider. So they saved their physical lives and killed Jesus.
[bctt tweet=”The thought was too repulsive for them to even consider. So they saved their physical lives and killed Jesus. ” via=”no”]
In what ways do you identify with the Pharisees and find Jesus’ sayings difficult?
Start concretely working through these with Jesus…Confessing them, Asking Him to change your heart, Asking Him to show you where to change your lifestyle.
This was first published 3/30/14 with the verse only at the Sunday Community. I changed the title and wrote an article to go with it (the SEO was all wrong). Then decided to share it today with #GiveMeGrace the community that is the outgrowth of the old group:)