34 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? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”Mark 8.
Many refer to this passage as the cost of discipleship which of course is trading this life to follow and live for king Jesus; for his Gospel commission to gain eternal life with him. It looks like a big price to some but not if we understand what Jesus has done for us who believe and the value of the kingdom that he will bring. We might then realise that the benefit hugely outweigh the cost. It might be the case then that we need to meditate more of what it is that Jesus offers in the next unending life to see that this is the deal of a lifetime.
What is it that we can achieve with this short life anyway before death comes knocking? And if death is only a door to life unending then isn’t this life a small price to pay for eternal life with King Jesus? If ever we find this cost to be too much then we need to think more of the next and realise this to be but a drop in life unending. If we think we cannot give up pleasure and vain ambition then we need to realise just how amazing the new creation is; unending feasting and joy without death or pain; Isaiah 25, Revelation 21. And when we suffer for following King Jesus we should count it a privilege to follow his set pattern to receive his eternal inheritance, Romans 8:17-18.
I find that I’m tempted not to believe this when my eyes are short sighted; either wanting to avoid momentary suffering or enjoy fleeting happiness when the true joy lies ahead with my eternal King. It’s then I need to think just how amazing God’s kingdom is; enough to suffer now and not worth trading it for fleeting pleasure or human ambition.