“When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” Mark 8:34-36

Many who read this passage of scripture get very discouraged. Because just like the passage in which Jesus tells the rich young man to sell all he had and give to the poor just so that he could get treasure in Heaven; this passage is always misread into saying that Jesus wants us to give up all we have in order to follow Him. It is always seen to paint a picture of deprivation. No wonder the Christian life is viewed with such cynicism and gloom.

But beloved, misreading like this miss His point. While certainly there are sacrifices to be made when living the good life which Jesus purposed and desires for us, we need to be established in the truth that He has no wish to short change us in any way. For we must remember that He said,

“I come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10


“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV]

So a life of deprivation He did not come to bring. So what then is His point? How do we not miss His point the next time around?

“And Jesus called [to Him] the throng with His disciples and said to them, If anyone intends to come after Me, let him deny himself [forget, ignore, disown, and lose sight of himself and his own interests] and take up his cross, and [joining Me as a disciple and siding with My party] follow with Me [continually, cleaving steadfastly to Me].” Mark 8:34 [AMPC]

Jesus’ point here, and indeed anywhere throughout the Bible, is always for us to keep the right priorities and not let this transient world, which is passing away, get the better of us, distract us from our Heavenly inheritance that has already been secured in Heaven by our Father. Because when we get distracted by the world,

“sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you,” Genesis 4:7 [AMP]

And if we are not careful, we lose our peace, we miss the point, we stop relying on Him and start thinking that we ourselves have to do it all, just like the disciples did.

“Meanwhile, the disciples were finding fault with each other because they had forgotten to bring bread. Jesus overheard and said, “Why are you fussing because you forgot bread? Don’t you see the point of all this? Don’t you get it at all? Remember the five loaves I broke for the five thousand? How many baskets of leftovers did you pick up?”
They said, “Twelve.”
“And the seven loaves for the four thousand—how many bags full of leftovers did you get?”
He said, “Do you still not get it?”” Mark 8:16-21 [MSG]

Indeed, the whole point is for us never to lose sight of Jesus, because when we continually keep our eyes on Him, His love, His protection and His provision for us, we will prioritize things properly.

“For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here] shall lose it [eternal life]; and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here] for My sake shall find it [life everlasting].” Matthew 16:25 [AMPC]

Is it not true? If we chase the trappings of this temporal life, seek only the comfort and security that this world affords, we will be distant from our Father for we will not want the blessings which our Father provides, which we think are distant, far and impractical; so we will reject Him, and in so doing, reject the life everlasting and abundant which Jesus came to bring.

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life [his blessed life in the kingdom of God]?” Matthew 16:26 [AMPC]

Beloved, remember that Jesus said,

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

So when we get our priorities right, we will be able to guard ourselves against the thief because we would have let our Father protect us.

Now let us look at a concrete example of missing the point.

“Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”
Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do.” John 9:1-3 [MSG]

This translation hits the nail on the head. This is exactly how we are like sometimes, are we not? Instead of looking for our Father’s love, affection and desire to prosper us, we start looking at ways to blame God for not giving us whatever we want, or for the situation that we find ourselves in. Beloved, let us not miss the point.

“He said this and then spit in the dust, made a clay paste with the saliva, rubbed the paste on the blind man’s eyes, and said, “Go, wash at the Pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “Sent”). The man went and washed—and saw.” John 9:6-7 [MSG]

Remember the last time Jesus did this?

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7

Jesus was showing us that whatever deficiencies this man had, He had the power to restore because He was the one who created him in the first place. And Jesus also shows us how, by accepting and believing in the cleansing power of the Him who was sent, we unlock miracles in our lives; just like the man received His sight after he washed his eyes in the water from the pool that was ‘Sent’.

Beloved, if you have not already caught it, Jesus is our pool of Siloam! Just like He told the Samaritan woman,

“Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”” John 4:13-14

But not only is He our pool of Siloam, He is better, because He made the pool, as Isaiah said.

“You also made a reservoir between the two walls
For the water of the old pool.
But you did not look to its Maker,
Nor did you have respect for Him who fashioned it long ago.” Isaiah 22:11

So beloved, let us not lose sight of Who and what is important. Let us not be like the Israel Isaiah was talking to when he said,

“Inasmuch as these people refused
The waters of Shiloah that flow softly,
And rejoice in Rezin and in Remaliah’s son;” Isaiah 8:6

Let us not refuse the gentle, refreshing waters of Jesus and trade it for the ‘kings’ of this world who are out to conquer and subjugate us. Let us not miss His point any longer and always stand fast in the confidence that He said,

“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

Jesus loves you, beloved. That is the point.

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