New American Bible (Revised Edition)
The Conditions of Discipleship. 34 He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said[a] to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.(A) 35 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel[b] will save it.(B) 36 What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? 37 What could one give in exchange for his life? 38 Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”(C)
The Transfiguration of Jesus.[d]
- 8:34–35 This utterance of Jesus challenges all believers to authentic discipleship and total commitment to himself through self-renunciation and acceptance of the cross of suffering, even to the sacrifice of life itself. Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it…will save it: an expression of the ambivalence of life and its contrasting destiny. Life seen as mere self-centered earthly existence and lived in denial of Christ ends in destruction, but when lived in loyalty to Christ, despite earthly death, it arrives at fullness of life.
- 8:35 For my sake and that of the gospel: Mark here, as at Mk 10:29 equates Jesus with the gospel.
- 9:1 There are some standing…come in power: understood by some to refer to the establishment by God’s power of his kingdom on earth in and through the church; more likely, as understood by others, a reference to the imminent parousia.
- 9:2–8 Mark and Mt 17:1 place the transfiguration of Jesus six days after the first prediction of his passion and death and his instruction to the disciples on the doctrine of the cross; Lk 9:28 has “about eight days.” Thus the transfiguration counterbalances the prediction of the passion by affording certain of the disciples insight into the divine glory that Jesus possessed. His glory will overcome his death and that of his disciples; cf. 2 Cor 3:18; 2 Pt 1:16–19. The heavenly voice (Mk 9:7) prepares the disciples to understand that in the divine plan Jesus must die ignominiously before his messianic glory is made manifest; cf. Lk 24:25–27. See further the note on Mt 17:1–8.