In Mark 8:34-37, Jesus announced to the crowds that discipleship would cost them their lives, but He did not mean all His disciples would physically die for Him. He meant that every disciple must live every day for the will of God in all things (Romans 12:1-2). While the demand might have seemed high, Jesus reasoned with the crowds to prove He offered the best deal. He said, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
What would you gain if you refused discipleship? If you lived your life for your earthly desires and were the most successful you could be, you would forfeit your soul, and none of your possessions could redeem it from Hell. You would have saved your life on earth but lost it in eternity.
Layered into this conversation is the truth that all people have rebelled against God and deserve eternity in Hell (Romans 3:23; 6:23). In Mark 8, Jesus proposes an indescribably favorable trade: He gives eternal life and expects discipleship on earth.
The cost of this redemption, the price of your soul, displays your advantage in this agreement. Peter said in 1 Peter 1:18, “…you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold…, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” He purchased you with the most valuable treasure: His innocent blood (Hebrews 4:15). Out of gratitude, obey Him. Hoping for eternity, follow Him. Live for Him because He died for you. Your obedient life is the best thanks you can give to the One who paid the price for your soul.