“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”
The TV program “The Biggest Loser” focuses on obese people losing weight. But Jesus is talking about losing more than pounds. He urges us to lose our lives. The biggest obstacle to being transformed into Christ’s likeness is precisely our fear of losing our life.
When Jesus talks about losing our lives for him, he’s not just talking about our physical life. The context reveals that “life” is the complex web of people and position and possessions that make up our everyday existence. We try to find or control or save our lives by getting and keeping all the things that make up our life. The very attempt to find our life within this web will cost us real, full life. The wisdom of God teaches us that if we lose our lives for Christ’s sake, we will find abundant, eternal life.
Focus on these three words for a moment: “for my sake.”
Who does Jesus think he is, anyway? He comes crashing into the universe and then into our lives and takes over, pre-empting our most instinctive loyalties, presuming on our deepest affections, usurping our natural ties, and asking to be the most important person in our lives.
Who is he? He is God on a mission, the Lord of our lives who gave up his life for us. Isn’t it wise to give up our life for his sake?
Lord Jesus, fix our eyes on the cross so that we may have the courageous wisdom to put you before anyone or anything else, and thus find life. Amen.
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