Ok, so I'm doing this Beth Moore study on James and it is real intense, and if you've done Beth Moore, you may be giggling a little at that statement- haha. She is a scripture warrior, I mean this lady savors and devours it at the same time (again, if you've done her study, you know what I'm saying). As a result of being in this study, I've been doing a lot of processing...lots of different things in my life I am trying to sort through and make sense of (this blog isn't about that though). I went to write about it today and then I saw where I started a blog with nothing but a title..."the Gospel is for me EVERY DAY"...and well, it turns out that is very true. So, out of prompting, this blog is going to be a little different than my others...So if you are looking for some mush, it's not here today. (the mush will probably will be back, cuz as you've been reading- God is softening me alot! <--HA, understatement.) No need to worry though, I don't bite lol.
This is gonna get intense so bare with me, and if you do, I really believe there will be a pay off at the end.
"Matthew 16:24-26: Then Yeshua told his talmidim, “If anyone wants to come after (to go behind) me , let him say 'No' to (deny) himself, take up his execution-stake, and keep following me. 25 For whoever wants (desires) to save his own life will destroy it, but whoever destroys his life for my sake will find [life]. 26 What good will it do someone if he gains the whole world (universe, worldly affairs; the inhabitants of the world; adornment) but forfeits (significant detriment/ loss carrying a penalty) his life (soul)? Or, what can a person give in exchange for (to put a buying price on) his life (soul)? ”
So I chose the Complete Jewish Bible translation for a reason; I wanted to look deeper into some of the words and really dig down deep, to the nitty-gritty, meaning in these verses. There are quite a few things I needed for myself to be pointed out, to really grasp this passage...and maybe you will receive a blessing from it as well!
Shall we dive into the highlighted texts, I say so!
Starting in the Hebrew...
YESHUA-- Yeshua in Hebrew is the verbal derivative from "to rescue", "to deliver". The name Yehoshua has the form of a compound of "Yeho-" and "shua": Yeho- יְהוֹ is another form of יָהו Yahu, a theophoric element standing for the name of God יהוח (the Tetragrammaton YHWH, sometimes transcribed into English as Yahweh or Jehovah), and שׁוּעַ shua‘ is a noun meaning "a cry for help", "a saving cry", that is to say, a shout given when in need of rescue. Together, the name would then literally mean, "God is a saving-cry," that is to say, shout to God when in need of help (Strong's concordance)
TALAMIDIM-- "It means to teach someone to be a student and to be taught. Talmid is the singular and Talmidim the plural form. There is much more to a talmid than being a student. A student wants to know what the teacher knows for the grade, to complete the class or the degree or even out of respect for the teacher. A talmid wants to like the teacher, wanting to become what the teacher is. That meant that students were passionately devoted to their rabbi and noted everything he did or said. This meant the rabbi/talmid relationship was a very intense and personal system of education. As the rabbi lived and taught his understanding of the Scripture his students (Talmidim) listened and watched and imitated so as to become like him. Eventually they would become teachers passing on a lifestyle to their Talmidim" (word and truth ministries)
Now, moving into Greek...
Execution Stake-- (Strong's concordance) I will save you the headache on this one...so in Greek, the word "stauros," literally means stake...so the debate is some people believe the translation leads to say it was a pole Jesus was crucified on, others a cross ("staturon"--see how similar these two words are)...BUT in the verse, the reference is also to a stake designed to impale...so Jesus was nailed to the cross (pole, whatever), but then he was also impaled with a spear in his side. According to my research, (which could be off, so please don't just take it- do the research for yourself) Jesus is saying take up EVERY instrument used in death, ALL of it...and follow me into death. Pick up you lethal injection, pick up your shotgun, pick up your life sentence, pick up your bad heart, whatever it is, pick it up because we headed to the grave.
Desire- Thélō (a primitive verb, NAS dictionary) – to desire (wish, will), wanting what is best (optimal) because someone is ready and willing to act. Thélō ("to desire, wish") is commonly used of the Lord extending His "best-offer" to the believer – wanting (desiring) to birth His persuasion (faith) in them which also empowers, manifests His presence (etc)... This is more than just a want, desire, craving (in YoungLife, this is part of need talk)-- it is the deepest longing in your soul! I often convince myself that "I want" this or that, that "I want" Jesus to be Lord, but this kind of want Jesus says is not by word of mouth, it is by action. It is the LONGING in my heart that screams through my soul, into every part of my earthly body...it doesn't just leak out of my mouth-- it seeps out of my BEING! It is my DESIRE TO BE EMPOWERED. (Strong's concordance)
Deny-- arneomai, already means "deny," so (aparnéomai) suggests "strongly reject" (especially the source). That is, utterly refusing to recognize the original source involved. Hence (aparnéomai) can imply "ignore, disown, or repudiate." (Strong's concordance). This isn't a blind refusal, this isn't like trying to hide something with words or actions (e.g. denying I told a lie, or cheated) this is almost as literal as forgetting. You know those moments in time that something incredibly horrible has happened (death, loss, cancer, total betrayal etc.) and it takes all you have to fight past the numbness and accept it, because you just can't seem to grasp its true? Your entire being rejects it, denies it, because the alternative is too much to bare? Yeah, it's that intense and Jesus commands us to treat our own selves this way because MY flesh is so incredibly hurtful to me, I am my own cancer, my own death, disease, loss, and grief...I am completely and utterly betraying my spirit and to think of myself otherwise is FOOLISH and Will be the end of me. (ouch. Breathe in, breathe out. Now repeat)
Destroy-- apóllymi (from apó, "away from," which intensifies ollymi, "to destroy") – properly, fully destroy, cutting off entirely (note the force of the prefix, apó). apóllymi ("violently/completely perish") implies permanent (absolute) destruction, i.e. to cancel out (remove); "to die, with the implication of ruin and destruction"; cause to be lost (utterly perish) by experiencing a miserable end (Strong's concordance). The result of selfishly not seeking life...
Ok, y'all this next one is SOOOOOO good....your gonna love it! This is the pay off...
Life-- psyxḗ (from psyxō, "to breathe, blow" which is the root of the English words "psyche," "psychology") – soul (psyche); a person's distinct identity (unique personhood), i.e. individual personality. (psyxē) corresponds exactly to the OT phágō ("soul"). The soul is the direct aftermath of God breathing (blowing) His gift of life into a person, making them an ensouled being (Strong's concordance). AHHHHH!!!!!! That's SOOOOOOOOOOOOO SO AWESOME! This text is literally saying forget everything about you, DIE, and I will BREATHE into you a Soul, an ETERNAL Soul, free from damnation. This life is used in the SAME CONTEXT as when God formed Adam out of dust and BREATHED Life into him!!!! Don't you get it??? That moment in time was the beginning of ALL human LIFE and Jesus is saying that HE will do the EXACT same thing in ME if I just DIE....it is the death of a soul-less being and then resurrection of the SOUL! When scripture says "the same power that rose Christ from the dead- I send to you", God means that RIGHT HERE! HOW MUCH MORE COULD WE ASK FOR?!?!?!?!?!
I know this has been long and thought provoking and possibly giving you a headache. But are you seeing the reward?? I mean this is some JUICY SIRLOIN right here...This is so much more than a new life! It is the promise of a new SOUL, eternal companionship, and freedom from being lost! It is a heartfelt cry from the Messiah, the Son of the Almighty, THE GOD OF RESCUE begging ME (of all creation, me) to just humble myself and come drink from the fount and never thirst again!!!! Truth this good is to be sung from the mountain tops! There IS nothing more satisfying than this.
From what I've studied on these 3 verses for HOURS...seriously hours...In the best words I have, which still can't compare to His, this is what Christ is trying to convey to me, to us...
"Saying you want to be like me isn't enough. Don't be deceived, a life with me is nothing to take lightly and is not a lightly walked life either. It is one that consists of you dying to yourself; do you understand the gravity of that? See, You say you want to be just like me, you say you want me...but you aren't willing to let go for me and it is a result of the selfish "wants" you are still eaten alive with. Hear me, this want in you is nothing if it only consists of your words, and your heart is evil. My father has CREATED you with a longing, a need, a desire for more; if I am not the one thing in this life that provokes that desire in you...then you will never truly live and you will suffer the implications or ruin and destruction--YOU WILL PERISH. What you fail to realize is that the Life you Long for is a life that only comes when carried out with me, by me. ONLY I can fill you with my spirit; ONLY I can put the Adam to you to rest forever; ONLY I, for MY sake, can embody you with a SOUL, an eternal pure SOUL...unlike your foul, disastrous one. It is the power of the Almighty in me that makes these things come to past; and IF you decided that it is what you want, that means you will live a life that is against everything you thought you knew, wanted, and had. It is a life of being continually dead, and continual flow of new life- not yours but mine...it is only grace that saves you, its only because I died in your place that you have the privileged to live and to be apart of my body of believers. It is my loving call that gives you this gift of creation, just as I gave it to your ancestors. Just as I give you this new spirit, it is I that empowers this spirit to live as I command. Not you, you are not capable of such things.
I say this with all the emotion I possess, because there is nothing in the heavens or the earth that will delight me more than to dwell with you FOREVER! I love you and because I love you with a deep, all consuming Love, I ask you be all mine! See, you aren't doing any of this alone; in me, you die-- you pick up your cross and go to the grave, not to be consumed by it but to DEFY it. In me, you live-- you are made into something night and day opposite of who you are now, and I know you don't see or understand it but you will, in time. But because I LOVE YOU SO, I am going to make you in part here what you will be whole when I call you home. Because I love you, I won't dare leave you here to wait for transformation, not for a day- not for a moment! I will never leave you to wonder, no, when I left- I left you hope! You're to valuable for wondering and I made you a promise from creations' beginning to never leave you. Finally, In me you are called into action, see, I will prompt you everyday to pick up your cross...and you will do great things, not by your will but by mine! Remember, your actions are filth and unacceptable- that's why I have given you this new life, to free you from them. But because I chose you to carry out MY Will, in obedience and action, your faith is in that process of perfection-- and I made you another promise to complete it! Never forget my promises, and this promise being the greatest-- if you lay down your life for my sake, I will breathe into you the fresh air of a NEW SOUL, for all eternity to spend with me! Take the time, evaluate these things I have said to you. Are they good? Is there anything else in this entire world that stands up to them? Is there anything in the world that is worth forsaking me and living your own life? Is eternity worth the risk? If so, it comes with the same price I paid...YOUR LIFE! No exceptions."
~This, my friends, is why The sweet, unparalleled GOSPEL of the GLORIOUS Jesus Christ is for me EVERY SINGLE WAKING MOMENT of EVERY SINGLE DAY of my life until I get to go home!
There is NO God like Jehovah!