Matthew 10 is one of the most confusing books of the Bible. Don’t get me wrong; the overarching message is very clear. However, within many of the verse are statements by Yeshua that can be hard to contemplate because they seem to have strange contradictions and/or commands that are not obvious to everyone.
One of the most misunderstood ones is actually very easy to get on the surface but it may have a much deeper meaning that is thankfully not hard to understand either if you’re looking at it the right way.
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. – Matthew 10:39 (KJV)
This concept is mentioned more than once in the New Testament and has a root in a common theme within the teachings: if you protect your life in this world and it goes against Yeshua, then you can lose your soul. For example, if faced with a gun to your head and told to renounce Yeshua as your Lord and Savior, would you stay strong in your faith and accept death in this life? Would you cross your fingers or make a mental bargain that you’re not really renouncing Him, but only saying it to get out of the situation? It’s a question that everyone needs to be able to answer even if we’re never faced with the situation.
There may be a deeper meaning to the verse as well. Finding one’s “life” could be referring to a focus on the accomplishments, joys, and worries in our mortal, sinful lives. To lose our lives may be that we let everything go with faith in our heart that our Father will provide so that we can follow Yeshua with all of our being in this world. It’s a concept that Yeshua echoed in his own ministry:
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. – Matthew 19:21 (KJV)
Unfortunately, it’s verses like this one that have been used by evil men to swindle people out of their money, to join cults, and to even take their own lives after leaving everything to their earthly deceivers.
It’s a verse that is not only complex, but also one that should give us hope. Regardless of the situation, no matter how dire of a circumstance we find ourselves in, we can know that by persevering through the trials and keeping our focus on Yeshua, we will have our rewards after this life.
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