“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” (Mark 8:35)
The principle expressed in this verse must be of paramount importance, for it is found repeated in one way or another probably more often than any other single principle in the New Testament. Note the following examples representing at least four separate messages from the Lord Jesus:
Matthew 10:39: “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” Matthew 16:25: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” Luke 9:24: “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” Luke 17:33: “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” John 12:25: “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”
This remarkable divine paradoxâ€”that to die means to liveâ€”is also found expressed in many other ways in the epistles. Paul says, for example: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live” (Galatians 2:20). Note also such Scriptures as Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 6:9-10; Philippians 1:21-24; 2 Timothy 2:11-12.
There are many pietistic Christians who interpret such passages as implying a so-called “deeper life” which is attained by certain Christians and not by others through some mystical experience. However, Jesus did not say to lose one’s life for a deeper life, but for “my sake and the gospel’s”! Christ wants us to live in simple obedience to His will as recorded in His Word, proclaiming in all we say and do that He is Creator, Savior, and coming King. HMM