³⁴And 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.
³⁵For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.
³⁶For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?
³⁷For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
³⁸For whoever 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.”
Following Jesus also involves suffering, but He Himself vouches for us.
Even then our life is safe with Him.
What applies to Jesus Himself, also applies to his followers. Those who want to follow King Jesus should not count on honor and glory for themselves. On the contrary, those who long for that, have come to the wrong place with Jesus. There is no honor for His followers in this world (Mark 8:34).
Anyone who seeks the best for themselves on earth, who wants to save their own skin, does not suit Jesus. Jesus surrendered himself and his own life to suffer for the people (Compare John 10:14-18). Likewise, His followers, the King’s subjects, must let go of their own lives and surrender themselves to Jesus (Mark 8:35).
That can mean that they too have to suffer and die. But then they will keep the life, namely the life that Jesus gives. Those who live for themselves will eventually end up alone. Jesus says it here in Mark 8:38 in the negative: He will not stand up for such a person if that person stands before God. In the judgment he is on his own.
For those who follow Jesus, the positive in the judgment applies, Jesus vouches for us to the Father. We are then not alone. Our life belongs to Jesus and is safe with Him. We will live through Him forever (John 5:24-29).
Question for self-reflection
▪︎ What could suffering today mean for the Good News (cf. 2 Timothy 3:12)?
▪︎ Ask the Lord to strengthen your trust in Him, so you will never be ashamed of Him.
Website 1: https://devotionals.harryschoemaker.nl
Website 2: http://bijbelplaatjes.nl