And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul?” Mark 8:34-37
Following one of the most loved passages from Matthew 19 which I wrote about yesterday, I come across this tough, difficult, do I dare say impossible passage today. Jesus sets the bar so high that even though people today are sincere in their faith, as were His disciples back then, we all fail to rise to the standard perfectly. All the disciples fell away before the Christ’s death on the cross. It takes Jesus to restore people, time and time again.
The cool thing is, Jesus does indeed restore us as we confess our sins. When we fall on our knees and admit we’re sinful and in need of our Savior, God is faithful and just and forgives us of all our unrighteousness. (See 1 John 1:8-9) Even though we can’t carry our cross and follow Jesus to perfection, we do it in His grace and in that wonderful relationship He has made with us through our baptism, through His Spirit, through His word, through . . . so many gifts He’s given.
Yes, we are indeed called to completely and wholeheartedly follow Him. Yet there are many distractions in this world that keep us from seeking Him and His kingdom. May we treasure the great treasure the Lord treasures . . . which is our soul. Let us not forfeit it by following the temporal things of this world instead of our Savior.