What Jesus Did! 'Redemptional Wisdom' — Matthew 16:24-26

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Then Jesus said to his followers, "If any person wants to follow me, he must say 'No' to the things he wants. That person must accept the cross (suffering) that is given to him, and he must follow me. The person that wants to save his life will lose it. And every person that gives his life for me will save it. It is worth nothing for a person to have the whole world, if he loses his soul. A person could never pay enough to buy back his soul."
— Matthew 16:24-26
Illustration of Matthew 16:24-26 — "If any person wants to follow me, he must say 'No' to the things he wants."

Key Thought

Up is down. Down is up. The high cost is cheap. The cheap cost is high. First will be last. Last will be first. The least will be greatest. Jesus preached an upside down Kingdom. In many ways, his values are against "Conventional Wisdom." Instead, Jesus teaches a "Redemptional Wisdom"—a wisdom that calls us to surrender our lives to the will of God, live for him, and serve others. It is in giving up our lives for something and Someone greater that we truly find life.
There are so many things we can invest our lives in that ultimately become our masters. The harder we work to attain them, the more we find we have lost that vital essence of living that is God's gift to us.
The radical example and call of Jesus is to follow him in laying down our lives to honor God and redeem others—there are no short-cuts. The cross casts its shadow over all of us.

Today's Prayer

Holy God, you are worthy of my life. Of all the competing voices vying for my time and attention, you along have shown a sacrificial love to redeem me. I trust your truth for my guide. As I seek to surrender to your will, please empower me to live with courage and conviction in a world which often hates and ridicules you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

From that time Jesus began telling his followers that he must go to Jerusalem. Jesus explained that the older Jewish leaders, the leading priests, and the teachers of the law would make him suffer many things. And Jesus told his followers that he must be killed. Then, on the third day, he would be raised from death. Peter spoke to Jesus alone. Peter began to criticize Jesus. Peter said, "God save you from those things, Lord! Those things will never happen to you!" Then Jesus said to Peter, "Go away from me, Satan ! You are not helping me! You don't care about the things of God. You only care about things that people think are important." Then Jesus said to his followers, "If any person wants to follow me, he must say 'No' to the things he wants. That person must accept the cross (suffering) that is given to him, and he must follow me. The person that wants to save his life will lose it. And every person that gives his life for me will save it. It is worth nothing for a person to have the whole world, if he loses his soul. A person could never pay enough to buy back his soul. The Son of Man will come again with his Father's glory and with his angels. At that time, the Son of Man will reward each person for the things he has done. I tell you the truth. There are some people standing here that will see the Son of Man coming with his kingdom before they die."

Matthew 16:21-28

Related Scripture Readings

Jesus said to them, "Now is the time for the Son of Man to receive his glory. I tell you the truth. A grain of wheat must fall to the ground and die. Then it grows and makes many seeds. But if it never dies, then it will always be only a single seed. The person that loves his own life will lose it. But the person that hates his life in this world will keep it. He will have life forever. The person that serves me must follow me. Then my servant will be with me everywhere I am. My Father will give honor to people that serve me.

John 12:23-26

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "The victory and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority (power) of his Christ have now come. These things have come, because the accuser of our brothers has been thrown out. He is the one who accused our brothers day and night before our God. Our brothers defeated him by the blood (death) of the Lamb and by the message {of God} they told people. They did not love their lives too much. They were not afraid of death.

Revelation 12:10-11

"Every person that hears these things should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. The person that wins the victory will not be hurt by the second death.

Revelation 2:11

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.