Mark 8:35 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 8:35, NIV: For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.

Mark 8:35, ESV: For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.

Mark 8:35, KJV: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.

Mark 8:35, NASB: For whoever wants to save hislife will lose it, but whoever loses hislife for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

Mark 8:35, NLT: If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.

Mark 8:35, CSB: For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me and the gospel will save it.

What does Mark 8:35 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

"Loses his life" refers to a Semitic phrase "to trifle away one's life." It means the loss is caused by foolish actions, not accident or happenstance. "Life" is from the Greek root word psuche. It means breath of life, but can also refer to one's soul.

Some are called to sacrifice their lives for Jesus and the gospel. According to legend, many of the twelve disciples were martyred. We are to accept that martyrdom is a possibility, but not seek it out (Matthew 10:23). God will honor martyrs. When Stephen is being stoned, he sees Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:56). And martyrs will be honored during the Tribulation (Revelation 20:4). Persecution, if not death, is something all Christ-followers should expect (2 Timothy 3:12).

But we can also lose our souls by trying to save them. The Bible is clear that salvation is through grace, by faith. We are completely incapable of doing the work that would save our souls. To try is to reject Jesus' offer of salvation, and without Jesus, our souls are forfeit (Ephesians 2:8–9; John 3:16–18).

The life of a Christ-follower is filled with little "deaths" as well. Some kind of persecution is likely (John 15:20; 2 Timothy 3:12). If other family members are not saved, we can expect a rift in relationships (Matthew 10:35–36). But the Bible promises compensation. Jesus calls those who listen to Him His family (Mark 3:33–35). And God will give rewards in heaven to those who are persecuted on Jesus' account (Matthew 5:12).