[For DLT see Note 1]


   “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

John 12:25


For thoughts about this isolated verse, use the DOOR.




   This comes from one of Jesus’ messages and much has been written about it. Here are just a few early morning observations that have been running through our heads.



   (1)  This statement is made, according to the Gospel of John, just before Jesus mentions: “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!….I, when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself.”² Jesus has the awareness that His crucifixion is coming up, that He will be tortured, lose His life, but will then be raised again. Death is on Jesus’ mind.

   (2)  Now for a puzzling first glance at the logic here: Loving your life here is disastrous; only “hating it” preserves it for eternity! Do we want something we hate to be preserved for eternity?

   (3)  And there’s this: Jesus didn’t hate His life on Earth. (He came, willingly, to seek and save that which was lost.)

   (4)  What does “love” and “hate” mean here (in the English that God has put before our eyes?)

   (5)  In other places Jesus encourages believers to “love others as they love themselves.”

   (6)  The love here must relate to some “value thing” besides our “life-on-Earth-body-package.”

   (7)  Jesus is saying this just before His body dies (though He will resurrect 3 days later)–as we know and experience death all around us.

   (8)  Jesus knows believers’ bodies will be destroyed in many ways; even the believing thief’s body is only hours from ending up in a garbage dump, yet Jesus says to him that “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” The other (unrepenting) thief, though deposited also in the dump, will, it’s assumed, end up elsewhere.

   (9)  The “eternal part” (above) then must involve the immaterial, “choosing person” that we call a soul. How it is “wrapped” in eternity is a heavenly detail of which we know little.

  (10)  The very best of anything good on Earth is not what the soul should aim for, because what God has promised to those who trust in Him is superior in every way to what we can imagine. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” I Cor. 2:9. The love-hate thing here must refer to an attitude and commitment, involving 2 things which are totally opposed to each other. By comparison, then, love–or desired betterment for our bodily selves, which is His creation–is to be basically hated, despised, or of no concern when compared to expected love for the Creator Himself.

   This is a reality incomprehensible to someone who has not encountered, accepted, and claimed Jesus Christ as Savior above everything else.


  ¹ DLT= devotional lite thought. We chose to share these words as result of a brief personal meditative experience reflecting upon God’s Word. We may include more posts of this sort that are “Gospel lite,” that ask for more investigating and source identification.

  ² John 12:27, 32.