Jesus makes a profound statement in Luke 9:24 that can’t be literal, can it? “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” Jesus often speaks in metaphors, maybe this is just another one of those. Often I wish it was, but I can’t come to any other conclusion than exactly what he says, in order to save or life we have to lose it.
This statement has incredible implications to anyone truly attempting to follow Jesus. As I read this verse this week it spoke to me about control. It appears to me that Jesus is saying that anyone who wants to experience the life He intends must surrender everything to Him. Surely He doesn’t want everything! There are a few things I would like to keep, namely my time and my ability to control situations and people. After all, I have become pretty good at it. I have chosen the hard road of self-discipline, and I expect others to follow suit. I have learned how to manage my time and don’t see why it is so hard for others to do the same. The problem with this type of mentality is that it leads to control. I am all for good discipline practices, but when mind turns to frustration and my actions lead to being short with others, then everyone in the scenario loses.
Jesus offers a radical approach in his teaching in Luke 9. He explains a way of life that leads to freedom. It is hard work though. It is hard to surrender control of people and situations, and it is especially difficult to surrender control of my own life to Him. This is precisely what He is asking his followers to do through this teaching. Life, real life, can only be obtained though total surrender. We must learn to release expectations and trust that as we give up our lives, He will provide a way of life that will be more than we could ever imagine.