Devotionals Archive

Daybreak: Matthew 16:13-26

Mar 16, 2021

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 16:25)

Do you know what it means to lose your life for the sake of Christ? Read this statement attributed to a young African pastor in Zimbabwe: 

 “I’m a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I’m a disciple of His and I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

“My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure. I’m done and finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, or first, or tops, or recognized, or praised, or rewarded. I live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by Holy Spirit power.

“My face is set. My gait is fast. My goal is Heaven. My road may be narrow, my way rough, my companions few, but my Guide is reliable and my mission is clear.

“I will not be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice or hesitate in the presence of the adversary. I will not negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ.

“I am a disciple of Jesus. I must give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He does come for His own, He’ll have no problems recognizing me. My colors will be clear!”

Were these mere words? Talk is cheap, you may be thinking. Would the young pastor be willing to stand behind them? The fact is, he did. This statement was found among his papers after he was martyred for the cause of Christ.

How about you? Real discipleship means real commitment. If you compromise to save your physical life from death, pain, or discomfort, you risk losing eternal life. Ponder the example of this young African pastor, and purpose to commit yourself fully to Christ and His cause.


Jesus and His disciples had journeyed into Gentile country when He asked them the question, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” They were about 120 miles from Jerusalem in a northern part of Palestine ruled by the tetrarch Philip — hence the city name, Caesarea Philippi. It was in this center of pagan worship and superstition that Peter professed that Jesus was the Son of the living God.

Jesus responded by announcing His purpose for coming to earth. First, His intention was not to set up an earthly kingdom, but to establish His Church. Secondly, He would die for the souls of men. In spite of the spoken faith of His disciples, they misunderstood both declarations and continued to perceive the kingdom of Jesus through earthly eyes.

The Greek word for church is ekklesia, meaning “a called-out assembly.” Jesus called it His Church, and it was established by God, not Peter. Through Peter, and other ordained men and women, God gave authority to establish guidelines that would help people live in a godly manner.

The Greek word peter means “a rock.” Peter later called Christians “lively stones” (1 Peter 2:5). Every Christian is a lively part of the building of the Church. Through giving His life, Jesus conquered death; neither death nor the powers of Hell can overcome it. The Church will stand.

Jesus admonished His followers regarding the responsibility of holy living. In order for the church to unite with God and each other, it was essential that every individual learned self-denial.

With Peter’s confession and belief that Jesus was the Christ, he represented the soul that is converted. Jesus wanted His disciples to step further into consecration and sacrifice. He was leading them to an experience of sanctification.

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines – Used by permission per WORDsearch)
V.   Instructions of the King in light of His opposition
      A.   Disclosures in light of His opposition
            1.   The King’s person (16:13-17)
            2.   The King’s program (16:18-26)
                  a.   His church (16:18-20)
                  b.   His death (16:21-26)
                        (1)   The King’s announcement (16:21)
                        (2)   Peter’s amazement (16:22)
                        (3)   The King’s rebuke (16:23)
                        (4)   The King’s invitation (16:24-26)

A Closer Look

  1. How did the disciples respond to Jesus’ first question? To His second question?
  2. What is the difference between simply denying oneself and denying oneself for Christ’s sake?
  3. List ways we might need to deny ourselves in order to maintain unity as an assembly of believers.


Just as Jesus conquered death by dying, He promised that we will be partakers of life if we die to self. We will then be a part of the most powerful establishment on earth — the Church of Christ.

Reference Materials