Matthew Poole Commentary - Matthew 16:26 - 16:26

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Matthew Poole Commentary - Matthew 16:26 - 16:26


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Our interpreters, by translating the same word soul in this verse which they had translated life Mat_16:25, let us know that they understood it here of that essential part of man which we call the soul, in which sense it could not be understood in that verse, for it is impossible in that sense to lose our soul for Christ’s sake. Some think that it hath the same sense here as in that verse, and that our Saviour argues here from the less to the greater, thus: Men will lose any thing rather than their lives; skin for skin, and all that a man hath, for his life; and this is but reasonable, for if a man lose his life to get the world, what will the world gotten do him good? What can be a proportionable exchange or compensation to him for that? Now if you value your temporary life at that rate, how much more ought you to value your eternal being and existence! It cometh much to the same, only the sense is plainer if we take it as our translators have taken it, for otherwise part of the argument is not expressed, but left to be understood, or supplied from the next verse. So as the sense is this: Besides bodies which may be killed by persecutors, you carry about with you immortal souls of infinitely more value; and besides a temporal life, of which you are in possession, there is an eternal state, which awaits you. You are creatures ordained to an eternal existence, either in misery or in happiness. Admit you could, by pleasing yourselves, denying me, shifting the cross, declining a life according to my precepts and example, prolong your temporal life, yet what will you get by it, considering that by it you must suffer loss as to your eternal happy existence, for I shall then deny you before my Father and his angels? Can any thing you can get or save in this world be a proportionable exchange for eternal happiness?