Matthew 10:39 Meaning of Whoever Finds Their Life Will Lose It

Matthew 10:39
“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”

Explanation and Commentary of Matthew 10:39

Jesus does not attract followers the way many of his ministers do today. In this day, we are more likely to hear, “Try Jesus,” or “Come to this great church, with these great people, this great band, and good coffee.” No church advertisements say, “Sign up and die.” But Jesus did just that. To be sure, following Jesus, if done whole-heartedly, will change a life for the better, but that is really only a fact known by faith, especially at first.

How do we know that death is the way to true life? We know it by faith and faith alone. For those who are called, there is a compulsion to go with Christ. There is faith that what we cannot yet see will come to light. But true faith does not hold back anything from God. True faith knows that if Jesus is worth anything, he is worth everything. There is no point in giving Jesus 50, 60, 70, 80, or even 99% of our lives. He will have it all, or he will have none. We cannot mostly die, just as we cannot mostly be saved. Christ and his kingdom are the treasure in the field for which it is worth it to trade one’s whole life (Mt 13:44-46).

For a few, losing their life will be a martyr’s death, and any Christian is called to be willing to drink that cup (Mt 20:22). But for most, the more complicated daily death, and daily picking up of their cross is what is required. In the end, no one ever really can sacrifice anything for God, because he always gives back infinitely better than he takes.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Matthew 10:39

#1 “Whoever finds their life will lose it,”
Language is tricky. One may use the words “find their life” to mean “find Jesus and his salvation.” But that is not the Savior’s meaning here. Rather, those who chase earthly pleasures and the things of the world—status, comfort, worldly security—particularly with a loose moral code and no fear of God, will find themselves morally and spiritually bankrupt and dead in their sins.

#2 “and whoever loses their life for my sake…”
This includes martyrdom, but more often means a radical change of lifestyle. Jesus said just prior to this that he was turning people against those in their same house. When those who do not fear God begin to fear him, there will most certainly be painful consequences that, while for their ultimate good, will feel costly at first.

#3 “…will find it.”
Our Father in heaven knows more than anyone what we truly need, and when we have obeyed him and given him our lives, we will be amazed at the realization that we could not have possibly known what was best for us, but that God had given it to us. Jesus came that we would have life, and life abundantly (Jn 10:10).

Bible Study on Matthew 10:39

Expert Overview of Matthew Ch. 1-13

Biblical Translations of Matthew 10:39

“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”

“If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.”

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

“He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

“He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”

Matthew 10:39 Meaning and Commentary

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.