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Thread: Meaning of this verse Matthew 16:25

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    Meaning of this verse Matthew 16:25

    For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.- Matthew 16:25

    I think I get the first part... He who dies for Christ will get his true life, but I don't get the second part... Please explain

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    May want to read this (link).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottizzle View Post
    For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.- Matthew 16:25

    I think I get the first part... He who dies for Christ will get his true life, but I don't get the second part...
    That is the second part. The first part simply means those who try to save their human lives will lose their eternal lives.
    1Peter 3:15
    (BBE) But give honour to Christ in your hearts as your Lord; and be ready at any time when you are questioned about the hope which is in you, to give an answer in the fear of the Lord and without pride;

  4. #4
    Hi Scott!
    Quote Originally Posted by Scottizzle View Post
    Meaning of this verse Matthew 16:25
    For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.- Matthew 16:25

    I think I get the first part... He who dies for Christ will get his true life, but I don't get the second part... Please explain
    I think the way to go is to explain the whole saying, but since my post will center mainly on the first part of the saying, let me start by explaining it's relevance to the second part, which you particularly ask about.

    I think the Lord is saying that if we are selfish, if we seek our own way rather than Christ's way, if we cling to what we have or want, rather than giving our lives to God, this is a path that ultimately proves stultifying, lifeless, dead -- and which may (therefore) lead us to perdition, to ruin.

    These things are bound up with the whole of the saying, as explained below, I think.

    Relevant Background

    One easy and logical place to start in on your question is to know where these concepts and words are found, and therefore in what context.

    A quick search, using the Bible Search function in the upper right corner of the Bibleforums window, and searching the whole bible for "save lose" (in the KJV) comes up with 4 relevant verses, all in the NT (and one irrelevant OT verse):
    Mt 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
    Lk 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
    Mk 8:35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
    Lk 17:33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
    These are, in effect, repetitions, or slight variations upon, the same saying.

    wording
    Luke 9:24 and Matthew 16:25 read "lose his life for my sake"; Mark 8:35 and Luke 17:33 omit "for my sake". Luke 17:33 says "whoever shall seek to save his life" none of the others specifically say "seek to"; but that may well just be the rendering of the KJV rather than a difference in the underlying greek text.

    context
    Matthew 16:25, Mark 8:35, and Luke 9:24 all are in the context of the question "Who do you say that I am" which Jesus asks the disciples at Ceasaria Philippi, and their responses. This occurred right after, or shortly after, the feeding of the 4000, and a week -- 8 days, as the text puts it -- before the transfiguration. (Luke omits to narrate the feeding of the 4000, and some events which occur between the feeding of the 5000 and the 4000; and indicates this by the vaguer way -- "And it came to pass" -- that he places this incident in his text.) Before the feeding of the 5000 had occurred, as all three texts make clear, Herod had executed John the Baptist.

    Luke 17:33 is spoken in a different setting; it's part of a passage (apparently) about the return of the son of man (presumably at the close of the age) and the way people react to those cataclysmic events, and in this context Jesus has just referred to Lot's flight from Sodom, and Noah's building of the Ark. This seems to be the same discourse Matthew records in chapter 24, and perhaps Mark in chapter 13, although conceivably these could have been different occasions, and to have occurred at the very end of Jesus' ministry, perhaps during what's called holy week (the week before Jesus was crucified). While this is interesting, and does shed a further light on the saying, here I will stick to the Ceasarea Phillipi occasion which is the context for Matt. 16:25.

    The significance (meaning) of the saying: more precise context

    Jesus asks the disciples, first, what people in general say about Him. "Who do men say that I am?" or "Who do people say that I am?" (The word "men" here, "anthropoi", is a gender-unspecific term in Greek.) Having heard their report on this matter (some say Elijah, some say John the Baptist, or one of the prophets) -- it's a report indeed, as He'd sent the twelve out on their own (in pairs) to do ministry right before the feeding of the 5000 -- He then asks them for their own opinion.

    It's in this context that Peter confesses (blurts out, in a moment of faith given him by God) that "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." This is what Jesus is looking for! The disciples -- headed up by Peter now, whose response embodies the best that Jesus' own chosen band comes up with -- recognizes that He is the Christ, and refers to His role as Christ in terms open to a far deeper and more exalted understanding ("son of the Living God") of who Christ is than the conventional 1st century Jewish one (which is, in its own way, pretty exalted). No doubt Peter does not understand these words as we understand then -- he certainly doesn't suspect that Christ is God the Son or anything like that -- but the words are open to an enhanced range of meaning later, as Jesus (and the flow of events God ordains) reveal more to them.

    Probably it is this exalted view of Jesus' as the Christ which prepares for the revelation (to Peter, James, and John) a week later of Jesus' glory, on the Mount of Transfiguration.

    In response to Peter's avowal, his clear faithful statement or foundational confession, that Jesus is the "Christ, the Son of the Living God" Jesus goes on to reveal to them a further crucial piece of information: "From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day." Mark makes it quite clear that Jesus immediately stated that He was going to go to Jerusalem to be killed. It's also made clear that, although Jesus repeatedly spoke of his coming death and resurrection the disciples couldn't really grasp these momentous facts, and were very scared by the concept.

    Their fear is natural. John the Baptist has been killed by the authorities. Now Jesus says He is to be killed. So naturally, Peter says "No! No, Lord! This must not happen to you" At this point Jesus rebukes Peter, very sternly, and says "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." (Matt. 16:24) The verse you ask about, 16:25 (and its parallels in Mark and Luke) is the follow-up. "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." And Jesus then expands on the follow-up by saying that the things we value in this world are of little worth in comparison to the value of one's soul -- which is (I think), in this context, to say in comparison to one's salvation: "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." (Matt 16:26-27)

    The significance (meaning) of the saying: interpretation

    Evidently, Jesus seems to be addressing the natural fear of death, or fear of His dying and being taken from them, which the disciples have. But more than that, He is articulating a fundamental paradox of which the crucifixion and resurrection are the climax: It's not by holding onto, by clinging to, what we want, or good things, that we receive good things, but rather by offering those good things, and our own lives, to God.

    Our source of hope and life and goodness and beauty and love and happiness lies not in what we ourselves can hold onto or secure for ourselves, but rather in God. He is our source of peace, joy, and all good things. Thus, if we cling to the gifts, rather than the giver, we turn the gifts to dust, to nothingness, to death. If we hold the gifts God gives us -- including life itself -- lightly because we give them back to God, then God, who is faithful, will give us life and joy and all good gifts abundantly. (That, IMO, is not so much a matter of God "rewarding" our giving our lives to Him -- though that's true too, I suppose) as a matter of the fact that God Himself is our reward, necessarily. He is the Source of life, love, joy, peace, goodness and all -- the source of being of all that is, as well -- and thus if we have God we have fullness of being and joy, by definition so to speak.

    Another aspect of this is that the life of God -- the life of joy and fullness of goodness, "the life that is life indeed", eternal life, inexhaustible fullness of life -- is a life of giving. "It is more blessed to give than to receive", Jesus tells us (quoted at Acts 20:35; cf. Matt. 8:10, 19:11, John 3:27, very relevant verses which turned up on a search for "give, receive"). Jesus Himself, Paul informs us, "emptied himself" (ἐκένωσεν, ekenosen) taking the very nature (morphe) of a slave (doulos) although actually He was by His true nature (morphe) God. This He did for our sake, to save us. (Phil. 2:5-11) He became poor to make many rich (II Cor 8:9). For as Jesus says in the Upper Room discourse (John 12:24) "Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it remains alone: but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit."

    Again, Jesus's saying at Matt. 16:25 and the Synoptic parallels (Mark, Luke) aligns with the necessity, rightness, and goodness of putting God first in one's life, which Jesus emphasizes elsewhere. On the one hand, "He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me" (Matt 10:37) and "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26). On the other hand, "Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you" and "And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life " (Matt 19:29, cf. Mark 10:29-30)

    Another Way of Summing this Up

    Following God is very tough. But it's the only path to life. And well worth it -- so very much worth it!

    "Enter in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and there are who enter it: Because the gate is narrow, and the way difficult, which leads to life, and there are few that find it." It's important to see, also, that the context of this saying is God's abundant generosity toward us, the need of putting God first, and the command to love others as we love ourselves.
    Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.

    Or which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

    Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

    Enter in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it.
    (Matt. 7:7-14)

    Likewise this passage follows up the Lord's prayer, in the previous chapter, where we are instructed to pray "Your will be done" (not mine), to forgive our debtors (and, in Matt 5, to give to all who ask of us). We need to trust God like the lillies of the field and the birds of the air. For God is our source of supply:
    Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, with what shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles [all the nations, worldly people] seek for your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. (Matt 6:31-33)


    YBIC, Scruff
    Last edited by Scruffy Kid; Jun 29th 2009 at 01:05 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottizzle View Post
    For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.- Matthew 16:25

    I think I get the first part... He who dies for Christ will get his true life, but I don't get the second part... Please explain
    Let's look at the context for the understanding:

    Matthew 16:25-27
    25 "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
    26 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
    27 "For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.


    Jesus is beginning to show the times of His return. If being there with them, yet He states that the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His father, He is talking about the End times, the last days. Chapter 17 shows Peter James and John a sneak peak at Jesus' glorification and how He will die. Chapter 20 Jesus tells them how he will be delivered to the chief priest and scribes and then handed over to the Gentiles to be crucified so to be raised on the third day. Then speed forward to Chapter 24 - the disciples directly ask Jesus for two things to explain, 1) "what will be the sign of Your coming, and 2) of the end of the age." It is within 24 that Jesus clearly explains both, ties in Daniel, and which the Holy Spirit gives Paul and John to echo Jesus' clear statement within Thessalonians and Revelation respectively.

    In Matthew 24:9 Jesus is stating that to the generation who is alive during the 70th week, or the last days, that they will be in great tribulation, and many Christians will be killed because of their faith in Jesus. At the same time, many will fall away from the faith because they fear losing their life.

    Now return back to Matthew 16:25, 27

    25 "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 27 "For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.


    So to those who follow Jesus and yet compromises their faith to save His own life [deny Jesus; take the Mark], they will lose it and become part of the falling away, and lose eternal life with Christ.

    My 2 cents....


    For God's Glory...

    RbG
    "Enter by the Narrow Gate...
    Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way...
    ... there are few who find it."


    -----------------------------------------------

    * All Scripture when quoted is taken from:

    The New American Standard Bible®,
    Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
    1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
    Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

    Italics, bold, color and/or underline are added for emphasis


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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottizzle View Post
    For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.- Matthew 16:25

    I think I get the first part... He who dies for Christ will get his true life, but I don't get the second part... Please explain
    This was in part a response to Peter, who had just expressed dismay and unbelief at the prospect of Christ having to suffer and die. So on one level I think these verses are a pretty straightforward teaching about the necessity of Christ's atoning death, and perhaps also an allusion to (or foreshadowing of) Christian martyrdom among the disciples.

    Reading the context helps. Also (IMO) it's helpful to understand that rather than there being just one interpretation, there are sometimes layers of meaning of certain Scriptures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottizzle View Post
    For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.- Matthew 16:25

    I think I get the first part... He who dies for Christ will get his true life, but I don't get the second part... Please explain
    Matt 10
    37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
    38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
    39He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

    Luke 9
    23And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
    24For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
    25For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

    I believe what He is saying here is that anyone who is not willing to put Christ above everyone and everything else, including their own families, and is not willing to surrender their lives to Him will lose their lives while anyone who does put Christ above everyone and everything else and surrenders their lives to Him will obtain eternal life.

    If someone gained the whole world it would still not save their soul. They would still lose their lives and would end up suffering the second death. If someone is willing to give up everything they have for Christ's sake, they would not have anything in the world but would still have what matters: eternal life with Christ.

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