"For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whosoever is ashamed of Me and My Words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels. " Mark 8:37-38
I love the questions that Jesus asks throughout Scripture. I always pay careful attention, and I allow Him to ask me the same questions through His Word by His Spirit. So I ask you to ponder the opening question, "what are you willing to exchange for your soul?" We have all read books and seen movies where people bargain for riches, fame, vengeance, etc in exchange for their souls. It might be entertaining when we perceive it as fiction, but it is extremely sobering as we are faced with the reality of this question in Scripture. We must honestly ask ourselves, does Jesus truly have first place in our hearts, or is there something or someone that you are willing to give your soul for? In order to truly be His disciple, we must love Him above all else for our own good. If anything is before Him we will never fulfill what we were created to do — His will for our lives.
Then He tells His disciples if anyone is ashamed of Him and His Word, in an adulterous, sinful generation, He will be ashamed of them before His Father and the holy angels. We now live in one of the most sinful, adulterous generations in our nation’s history. We may have topped Sodom and Gemorrah who were destroyed for their wickedness. Being a follower of Christ when I was a child was the norm and greatly respected for the most part. It was popular within our culture. That is no longer true. So each of us has to decide whose approval we are seeking? Are we willing to sell our soul for man’s approval rather than the God who expressed His love to all mankind by offering His only Son as the sacrificial lamb?
In previous verses in the same chapter He asked the disciples, "Who do people say I am?" They answered, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others one of the prophets."
Then He asked, "But who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ."
If He asked you that question today, how would you honestly answer? Do you really know who He is, or do you only know what you have read, or been told about Him. We all must allow the Holy Spirit to reveal who He truly is as we seek Him with all our heart. He will disclose Himself to us if our hearts are undivided.
He also asks them:
"What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and forfeits His soul?"
Just before this question in Mark 6:31-33 we read the following discourse:
And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. ‘and He was stating the matter plainly. And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But turning around and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s."
I propose another question we must ask ourselves often as we daily sift our lives through His Word allowing Him to instruct and guide us:
"Are we setting our minds on God’s interest or man’s in our daily decisions? Whose approval are we really seeking?"
Verses 34 and 35 that follow give us clear instruction on how to become a disciple according to Jesus Himself:
And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them; "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save His life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it."
Another question to ask ourselves,: "Are we trying to save our old lives, or are we willing to take up our cross and follow our Saviour?" We know from Paul, whatever we lose in this life is counted as dung for the surpassing value of gaining Christ Jesus and our life to come.
You may read of this same, entire account with more detail in Matthew 16:13-28. Please take the time to look these verses up, and gain even more insight into these foundational teachings from Christ to us, as His disciples. We are in desperate need to know the truth of God’s Word and not allow others to define who He is to us. I reiterate once again; read the Bible for yourselves. He will teach you, Himself, through the Holy Spirit, as you read the Word aware of His indwelling presence inside of you that promises to lead you into all truth. Remember truth is the only way to be set free.
In His love.
Photos taken on a beautiful fall evening this week, running on the fee fishing road near my home. How blessed we are!