“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26 (NAS)
We spend our fleeting lives pursuing. Pursuing a diploma, a degree, a job, a spouse, a promotion, financial security, success, a bigger boat, a dream home on a lake, recognition, public office, fame, validation, and the list goes on. We wake up one day, polish our nails on our breast, and say, we’ve got it all. Jesus says there is no profit in gaining the whole world if it costs you your soul.
They say every man has his price, and guess what, Satan knows the figure. How can you bargain with the devil when he knows what you’ll pay? This Faustian Bargain we all are tempted to make to some degree, unless we fear God.
It must have been eminently frustrating to the evil one sensing Jesus would not give up on his quest, that he was willing to pay the ultimate price. He tried anyway and it did not end well. Worse, Jesus’ forfeited life gained all of ours in return.
We understand this in the context of the twelve disciples. One did forfeit his own soul for 30 pieces of silver. The remaining gave up their lives (or freedom in John’s case) for the Lord and found ultimate satisfaction in following him. The same goes for us.
“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24
A man dragging around a cross doesn’t have a spare hand.