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Gaining and losing

Verses 35–37 are hard to translate, since the same Greek word, here translated by ‘life’ (but sometimes also by ‘soul’), means both the fact of being physically alive and not dead and also the real self which is far more than physical life and which survives beyond it. Jesus’ words depend on the contrast between these two senses of the same Greek word. To cling to (physical) life may be to forfeit (spiritual) life, while those who lose their (physical) life because of their loyalty to the cause of the gospel will find that their true (spiritual) life is saved and not lost. The ultimate question, then, is which is more worth preserving. In the light of his command to ‘take up the cross’ it is a real and pressing question for the disciples as they set out for Jerusalem…

Publisher: BRF - view more
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