“The Cost of Discipleship: Losing One’s Life for Jesus’ Sake”

Bibliographic information:

Tanner, J. Paul. “The Cost of Discipleship: Losing One’s Life for Jesus’ Sake.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 56:1 (March 2013) 43-61.



In Mark 8:31–9:1, we are presented with a dialogue between Jesus and Peter, prompted by Peter’s rebuke of the Lord for announcing He would be killed at the hands of the religious leaders. In what follows, Jesus rebukes Peter and teaches what He demands of those who follow Him. One must be so committed to Jesus that he would be willing to die for Him. This passage has often been misunderstood as referring to a condition for salvation (“whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it”). This article argues that this is not a condition for salvation, but rather the Lord’s teaching on what committed discipleship is about. Those who follow this path will be rewarded for their faithfulness in the coming kingdom. Those who do not will eventually regret their unfaithfulness while on earth (though they will not lose their salvation on account of this).


The Evangelical Theological Society (website: http://www.etsjets.org/JETS)

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