Paradox [2/3]: Gaining By Losing

15 February 2022
Yam Chien Meng

Series: Paradox
Title: Gaining by Losing
Text: Matthew 16:24-27

Jesus’ challenge to His disciples to follow Him is as radical as it is paradoxical (Mt 16:24-27). When we are willing to lose our lives for Jesus’ sake, that’s when we gain true life. 

General Questions:

  1. In the preceding verses, Jesus rebukes Peter (v23, “Get behind me, Satan!”) when he told Jesus that Jesus should not have to suffer. Jesus told Peter that he did not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns (v23). How does this context help us to understand the sermon passage (v24-26)?

Perspective Questions:

  1. Some of us might feel uncomfortable upon listening to this sermon. What do you think causes that discomfort? What are some of the doubts and reservations you might have towards gaining by losing? Why? What does this reveal about our expectations and ideals of the Christian life?

  2. Not only did Jesus tell His disciples that He was going to suffer, be rejected and die, He told them that they would have to be prepared to go through a similar fate. While we may not face threats to our lives here in Singapore, there are still costs to following Jesus. What are some costs that we experience today? How do they affect us and why are they hard to bear? How can we be more prepared face up to them?

  3. The person who rejects God’s will and instead pursues his own will for his life ultimately loses every earthly good he is trying to protect. What earthly goods do you think you would seek to protect? How would this understanding change and shape the way you make decisions today?

  4. How does the promise of eternal rewards spur us to keep taking up our cross to follow Jesus?

Application Questions:

  1. What are some costly decisions (e.g. choosing the hard things, stepping into the void, being inconvenienced) you know you need to make to follow Jesus today? How can our LG support us in following through with these choices?