For whoever wants to save his [higher, spiritual, eternal] life, will lose it [the lower, natural, temporal life which is lived only on earth]; and whoever gives up his life [which is lived only on earth] for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it [his higher, spiritual life in the eternal kingdom of God].
Those who want to save their lives will ·give up true life [L lose their life/soul; C Greek psychē can mean “life” or “soul,” producing this play on words]. But those who ·give up [lose; sacrifice] their lives for ·me [my sake] and for the ·Good News [Gospel] will ·have true life [save their lives/souls].
Then he called his disciples and the people around him, and said to them, “If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps, he must give up all right to himself, take up his cross and follow me. The man who tries to save his life will lose it; it is the man who loses his life for my sake and the Gospel’s who will save it. What good can it do a man to gain the whole world at the price of his own soul? What can a man offer to buy back his soul once he has lost it? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this unfaithful and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in the Father’s glory with the holy angels around him.”
Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?
For he that will make safe his life, shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for me, and for the gospel, shall make it safe. [Soothly who so will make his soul, that is, his life, safe, he shall lose it; forsooth he that shall lose his soul, that is, his life, for me and the gospel, shall make it safe.]