In the previous conversation, we looked at what the soul is and how a person may lose it, but that wasn’t the intended subject when taken in context.
Here is the context:
21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to you!’ 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’ 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
26 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? 27 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 they have done (Matthew 16:21-27).
The disciples believed Jesus was Messiah, that they would see him sit upon David’s throne and become King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He was to rule the earth, and they were to be his high officials. They did not understand that before he could rule the earth, he had to save it.
As he began to reveal his death to them, Peter rebelled. He swore with an oath that what Jesus had told them would never take place. Jesus called Peter Satan, because Peter thought he knew better than the Father what the Son should do.
Turning his back on Peter, he said to the others that if they were truly with him, they had to deny themselves and pick up crosses and follow him. Peter repented so thoroughly that he did exactly that, dying on a cross himself. So did some of the others. Tradition says John was boiled in oil, but survived. They all suffered horribly for their decision to follow Jesus to the cross, joining him in his death to rise with him also.
A day will come when millions will say, why did God favor you (and not us) with your high positions? When they hear how the disciples suffered, they will shut their mouths.
Who was Jesus speaking about when he said, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
The disciples expected Jesus to become King of the World. He was speaking of himself! What good would come if Jesus became King of the World and lost his soul?
Read John 10 carefully:
Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”
“I and My Father are one.”
Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him (John 10:22-30).
For Jesus to accept the throne and become King of Kings without doing the will of his Father, would cost him his very soul. The Soul of Jesus, the Sovereign will and Decider of his being, was the Father. What could Jesus give in exchange for his Father? Rhetorical question, the answer was obvious.
Wrap your spirit around this, and you are near to the Kingdom indeed.