Matthew 16

Matthew 16:8

But Jesus, aware of this, said, “You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread?

You men of little faith. Which is to say, they had no faith at all.

On the stormy sea, the disciples had no faith because they were captive to fear (Matt. 8:26). Here the problem was they were walking by sight. They had forgotten how Jesus had miraculously supplied bread to the five thousand and the four thousand (see next verse).

Matthew 16:25

“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

(a) Save his life. The original word for life (psuchē) usually refers to soul-life. (The word psychology comes from the word psuchē.) It is the fleshly life we inherit from Adam.

(b) Will lose it. Live for the appetites of the flesh and you will lose your true self. Run after the inferior pleasures of the world and you will lose your soul. What profit is that (see next verse)?

(c) Loses his life for My sake. There are two ways to lose your life. The first is to be consumed by your own appetites until your life is little more than eating and drinking and running after fleeting pleasures. The second is to turn your back on that inferior life because you have found something better by far.

(d) Will find it. Real life – the kind Jesus offers – is found in fellowship with God.

The bottom-line hasn’t changed. God is inviting us to a love-relationship based on trust. He wants us to look to him as our Source (Matt. 6:25). See entry for New Life.

Matthew 16:26

“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?

(a) Gain the whole world. The natural mind desires the things of this world. Its concerns are, “What do I want, how can I get it, and how will it make me look?” But if we got we craved, we would find no lasting peace and joy.

(b) Forfeit his soul? The selfish life is a dead-end street that ultimately leads to self-destruction (Rom. 8:6).

The pursuit of self-gratification can incur a terrible cost. In our quest for success we may put life on hold, mortgage our families, and sell our souls. We claw and fight and grab and hold and the result is often conflict and dissension (Gal. 5:15). And if we make it to the top, we find nothing there because life is so much more than accomplishments and the accumulation of stuff (Luke 12:15).

Running after the hollow pleasures of this world is like building with sand. Any success will be fleeting and forgotten, buried by the passage of time. The end result of this way of life is disconnection, destruction, and death (Rom. 8:6, Gal. 6:8, Php. 3:18-19).

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