There's some REALLY pivotal stuff in these 3 verses.
Here's 3 different translations & a paraphrase of it.
Think about what Jesus is saying here & what it means to you & me, as well as our world today...
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples,
“If any of you wants to be my follower,
you must give up your own way & your selfish ambition,
take up your cross,
and follow me.
But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
Is anything worth more than your soul? (NLT)
“If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps
he must give up all right to himself,
take up his cross
and follow me.
For the man who wants to save his life will lose it;
but the man who loses his life for my sake will find it.
For what good is it for a man to gain the whole world at the price of his own soul?
What could a man offer to buy back his soul once he had lost it? (J B Phillips)
“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead.
You’re not in the driver’s seat;
Don’t run from suffering;
Follow me and I’ll show you how.
Self-help is no help at all.
Self-sacrifice is the way,
to finding yourself,
your true self.
What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself?
What could you ever trade your soul for? (The Message)
If you want to follow Me,
you must deny yourself the things you think you want.
You must pick up your cross and follow Me.
and she who loses her life for Me will find it.
but then to hand over your very soul?
What is your soul really worth? (The Voice)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Paul talks about other guys who are boasting about their accomplishments for the Kingdom who also belittled his.
Here's what he said in response to that...
And compare our precious & prissy lives as Christians in America to the life Paul lived...
2 Corinthians 11
But whatever they dare to boast about—I’m talking like a fool again—I dare to boast about it, too.
So am I.
Are they Israelites?
So am I.
Are they descendants of Abraham?
So am I.
I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more!
I have worked harder,
been put in prison more often,
been whipped times without number,
and faced death again and again.
Once I was stoned.
Three times I was shipwrecked.
Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.
I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers.
I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles.
I have faced danger in the cities,
in the deserts,
and on the seas.
And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not.
I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food.
I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.
29 Who is weak without my feeling that weakness?
Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger?
30 If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.
31 God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, who is worthy of eternal praise, knows I am not lying.
32 When I was in Damascus, the governor under King Aretas kept guards at the city gates to catch me.
33 I had to be lowered in a basket through a window in the city wall to escape from him.