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The concert and the encores had ended and patrons and friends were gathered around the pianist with accolades and admirations. One fan exclaimed: “I would give anything to be able to play like that.” The pianist replied: “I have already given everything.” Who of us has not at one time or another felt or expressed a similar thought. Most of us have made a sacrifice at one time another, but have retained our ownership of ourselves. Jesus was describing those who would be tempted to act on such a suggestion. Fortunately we lack the ability to act, as there is no power that is available to us to accept the offer of ourselves as a bargaining chip in this fashion.

We have heard how Esau was tricked into selling his birthright for a bowl of stew. Not me, we exclaim! Yet when the tempter comes we may find ourselves reaching for the figurative “bowl of stew.” What Jesus wants us to see is that with Him there is no need to exchange anything, that he will provide. Yet Peter began to rebuke Him; but when He had turned about and looked on his disciples He said, “get thee behind me Satan.” We may find ourselves disagreeing with the gospels saying, “that doesn't apply to me.” Perhaps so, yet Jesus said if you will give what you want to exchange in the world for its reward you have your reward. However if you will lose your life, deny yourself, take up YOUR cross (was that what you had to offer in exchange for???)? and follow me you shall save it. Many of us do not know how to follow Him.

Many are seeking, and the profit of a man, in exchange of his soul to Jesus, shall save his life unto eternity. What shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Nothing. Your soul, given freely, is recognized by Jesus to His Father, for if we are not ashamed of Jesus, He will not be ashamed of us.

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