Baseball tickets – $46, concessions $27, autographed baseball – $50, real conversation with your 11 year old son – priceless. Remember those commercials? Just about everything physical in this world can be measured in terms of money: property, your vehicle, even your smile! What about your soul? Jesus asks in Matthew 16:26, “What can anyone give in exchange for their soul.” The obvious answer to Jesus question is nothing! The soul is of immeasurable value. The soul is the basis of your human dignity – what the writers of the Declaration of Independence called “inalienable rights” which they recognized could only have been administered by a Creator and never changed or compromised.
Certainly, this affects how we treat others, but here Jesus is calling us to consider how we treat our own soul. Jesus’ question comes in the context of Peter confessing that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God (v. 16). Then, as Jesus begins to elaborate on His impending death and resurrection Peter again speaks up and rebukes him saying that this will never happen to him. Jesus responds with a rather harsh statement, “Get behind me, Satan… you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Peter, believing that Jesus was the Messiah, most likely had in mind that Jesus would eradicate the Romans from Jerusalem and establish another kingdom like that of David. However, this was not God’s plan. As we will see in the coming chapters, God’s plan was for Jesus to suffer and die then be raised to life, and reign forever on the throne of a spiritual kingdom, The Kingdom of God.
How about you? Do you have in mind the concerns of God or the concerns of man? If you want to see what people value, check their calendars. What people spend their personal time doing is what they ultimately value the most. If you spend most of your free time watching TV. you most likely value entertainment. If you spend most of your free time attempting to earn more money, you most likely value your possessions very highly. How much time do you spend doing things to benefit your soul? The loving, self-sacrificial acts that we do for one another are good for the soul. Time spent in the Word and in prayer and sharing your faith with those around you will have effects that last into eternity, along with your soul. Take a good hard look at your schedule. Is it filled with things you do to build value in eternity? Or is it filled with temporal things; things that have monetary value?
Have you lost your life in order to find it in Christ? Follow the example of the Apostle Paul who said, “I no longer live but Christ lives within me.” (Gal. 2:20)