Losing and Finding
October 22, 2020
He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it (Matthew 10:39).
I remember in the old Sears catalogues there were pictured certain products that had three different classifications, ‘good’, ‘better’, and ‘best’ with a graded cost for each classification. Same product (i.e. vacuum cleaner, etc.) but three grades of quality. You don’t see that anymore. In fact you don’t see catalogues much anymore. It seems everything is done on-line.
The word ‘life’ in this text is psuche (breath; spirit), not zoe (physical, biological life). However, Jesus used the word in both its temporal and eternal sense.
The word ‘found’ means ‘to get, obtain, perceive, or see’. Here it means to obtain and to hold on to one’s true life. The word ‘find’ is from the same root word as ‘found’ but is a different construct.
The word ‘lost’ means ‘to fully destroy, die, mar, or perish’. Here it means to give up one’s true life. The word ‘lose’ is from the same root word as ‘lost’ but is a different construct.
In the first half of each clause, has found his life . . . has lost his life, refers to saving and losing one's true life. In the second half of each clause, will lose it . . . will find it, refers to losing and having eternal life.
Jesus was preparing the disciples to go and preach the Gospel. He would follow after them and share with them that He was (and is) the Messiah who came to save them and give them life in His Kingdom. So in the immediate context Jesus told the disciples they had given up their lives to be His disciples. Should they give up their lives (in martyrdom) for the cause of Jesus Christ in that particular mission, they would have eternal life. That, of course, didn’t happen.
The principle is true today. Anyone who holds on to this life by rejecting the Gospel of Jesus Christ will lose eternal life hereafter. Anyone who surrenders this life by believing in and receiving Jesus Christ will have eternal life now and hereafter. A person who gives up his/her physical life in martyrdom for the cause of Christ will receive the crown of life as his/her reward in glory (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10). Our physical life (the ‘good’), though precious to us, is far inferior to the eternal life (the ‘best’) promised by Jesus.
“Thank You, Lord, for the Gospel You have entrusted to me to share with others. My desire is know the success the disciples experienced when they went out to declare Your coming visit to them. I am aware of the hardness of heart in people today, so I pray Your Holy Spirit will prepare those You have set aside to hear the good news of salvation. To Your praise I ask, Amen.”