Perhaps the most important question we must ask ourselves was one asked by Jesus nearly 2000 years ago. Both Matthew and Mark conveniently recorded this question so that it would not be lost over the years and so that we can be aware of it today. The question? “What would a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)
We have always had the practice of exchanging one thing for another. In the world of sports card collectors, a number of lesser known players may have to be exchanged for a more proficient or popular player. Perhaps one may exchange their valuable time to learn to play a musical instrument or to perfect a talent. We exchange money for services or commodities. We even exchange our services for monetary compensation. Don’t misunderstand, one cannot “earn” salvation for it is a gift of God (Eph 2:8), but Jesus clearly says that something can be exchanged if one is disposed to do so. It is up to us to determine what it is and if we are willing to exchange (give) it for our souls.
Are you curious? Do you know what it is we can exchange? In the context of this verse Jesus provides the answer to His impending question. In verse 24, Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” In the next verse He tells us that “he who loses (gives/exchanges) his life, for Jesus’ sake shall find it.” The importance of this truth is so great it is recorded in three of the four gospels. The greater importance is getting this truth into our lives. Do our lives indicate self-denial? Do our lives indicate cross-carrying and following Jesus? This constitutes finding our lives, perhaps the more abundant life Jesus tells us He came to bring.
Copyright © 2007, Nolan P. Rutter