His Best Offer

“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”—Matthew 16:25 (NIV)
“Whoever wants to save their life will lose it . . .” If that’s not the most confusing thing I’ve ever heard, I’m not sure what is. Seriously, can you imagine being one of the disciples hearing this? I’m sure there were more than a few blank expressions when Jesus uttered these words.
Let’s try to get a little context. Jesus is telling us what it takes to follow Him and be His disciple. He says, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 NIV). The word for wants is theló, which means to want what is best because someone is ready and willing to act. Get this . . . this word was most commonly used when the Lord was extending His “best offer” to the believer. Jesus’ best offer was to deny yourself, take up your cross (which represents unspeakable pain, humiliation, and suffering), and follow Him!
And why is this the best offer? Because of the alternative! “Whoever wants to save their life will lose it.” The word save is actually closer in translation to preserve or keep from destruction. Specifically, whoever desires to preserve himself from troubles, death, and is willing to forsake Christ and deny the gospel will lose his life. If someone values worldly honor, pleasure, status, and this life above Christ, they will miss out on eternity.
But here’s where Jesus presents His best offer: “Whoever loses their life for me will find it.” Whoever’s willing to lay down life itself for the sake of Christ, will enjoy everlasting life . . . a life free from trouble and tragedy, full of endless joy.
Paul understood this! That’s why he says in Philippians 1:21 (NIV), “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” And he takes it further in Philippians 3:8 (NIV): “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.”
Am I saying that to follow Christ, you have to die, suffer terrible pain, misery, and trouble? No. You may never experience that. You may never be persecuted or be forced to choose between Christ and your life. But you may. And if you do, will you count the things of this world and your temporal life more worthy than gaining Christ?
DIG: Read Matthew 16:24–28, Philippians 1:15–26, and John 16.
DISCOVER: What are you willing to give up for the sake of following Jesus?
DISPLAY: If you are currently experiencing persecution, pain, or trouble of any kind for the name of Jesus, remember John 16:33 (NIV): “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” And pray for those who are experiencing persecution and facing death for the sake of the gospel.

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.