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Mark 8:34-38

Context
Following Jesus

8:34 Then 1  Jesus 2  called the crowd, along with his disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wants to become my follower, 3  he must deny 4  himself, take up his cross, 5  and follow me. 8:35 For whoever wants to save his life 6  will lose it, 7  but whoever loses his life for my sake and for the gospel will save it. 8:36 For what benefit is it for a person 8  to gain the whole world, yet 9  forfeit his life? 8:37 What can a person give in exchange for his life? 8:38 For if anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him 10  when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

2 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tn Grk “to follow after me.”

4 tn This translation better expresses the force of the Greek third person imperative than the traditional “let him deny,” which could be understood as merely permissive.

5 sn To bear the cross means to accept the rejection of the world for turning to Jesus and following him. Discipleship involves a death that is like a crucifixion; see Gal 6:14.

6 tn Or “soul” (throughout vv. 35-37).

7 sn The point of the saying whoever wants to save his life will lose it is that if one comes to Jesus then rejection by many will certainly follow. If self-protection is a key motivation, then one will not respond to Jesus and will not be saved. One who is willing to risk rejection will respond and find true life.

8 tn Grk “a man,” but ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used in a generic sense here to refer to both men and women.

9 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “yet” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

10 sn How one responds now to Jesus and his teaching is a reflection of how Jesus, as the Son of Man who judges, will respond then in the final judgment.



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