The Meaning of Luke 9:25 Explained

Luke 9:25

KJV: For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

YLT: for what is a man profited, having gained the whole world, and having lost or having forfeited himself?

Darby: For what shall a man profit if he shall have gained the whole world, and have destroyed, or come under the penalty of the loss of himself?

ASV: For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose or forfeit his own self?

What does Luke 9:25 Mean?

Context Summary

Luke 9:18-27 - The True Use Of Life
Here and also in Luke 9:28 reference is made to the Master's prayers. He was praying alone, before He broke to His friends the death which awaited Him and in which we may have some share; He was praying, too, when the cloud of glory overshadowed Him. Would it not be well to begin this new day with the resolve to pray more! If the Lord needed it, surely we do, whether for the Cross or the Transfiguration Mount.
Into such prayer, petition and intercession must needs enter. But, ah, what prayer that is, which is neither of these, but the opening of our nature to the inflowing of the divine nature, which is Love, when the soul recognizes its oneness with God and the whole universe!
Our Lord asked these questions that He might lead the Apostles to crystallize their own conceptions in Peter's magnificent affirmation. But they who will follow His footsteps must expect His lot! First, the Cross is set up in our heart, and day by day our old self-nature is crucified there; then we have to endure for others the Cross of rejection, shame and death. But it is thus that we gain ourselves and come into possession of our own souls. If we dare take this path, neither here nor hereafter will Christ be ashamed of us. [source]

Chapter Summary: Luke 9

1  Jesus sends his apostles to work miracles, and to preach
7  Herod desires to see Jesus
10  The apostles return
12  Jesus feeds five thousand;
18  inquires what opinion the world had of him; foretells his passion;
23  proposes to all the pattern of his patience
28  The transfiguration
37  He heals the lunatic;
43  again forewarns his disciples of his passion;
46  commends humility;
51  bids them to show mildness toward all, without desire of revenge
57  Many would follow him, but upon conditions

Greek Commentary for Luke 9:25

Gain [κερδήσας]
A merchant's word. Jesus is putting the case as a common-sense question of profit and loss. [source]
Lose [ἀπολέσας]
“When he might have been saved” (Bengel). This word, in classical Greek, is used: 1. Of death in battle or elsewhere. 2. Of laying waste, as a city or heritage. 3. Of losing of life, property, or other objects. As an active verb, to kill or demolish. 4. Of being demoralized, morally abandoned or ruined, as children under bad influences. In New Testament of killing (Matthew 2:13; Matthew 12:14). 5. Of destroying and perishing, not only of human life, but of material and intellectual things (1 Corinthians 1:19; John 6:27; Mark 2:22; 1 Peter 1:7; James 1:11; Hebrews 1:11). 6. Of losing (Matthew 10:6, Matthew 10:42; Luke 15:4, Luke 15:6, Luke 15:8). Of moral abandonment (Luke 15:24, Luke 15:32). 7. Of the doom of the impenitent (Matthew 10:28; Luke 13:3; John 3:15; John 10:28; 2 Peter 3:9; Romans 2:12. [source]
Cast away [ζημιωθείς]
Another business term. The word means to fine, amerce, mulct; to punish by exacting forfeit. Hence Rev., correctly,forfeit his own self. See on win your souls, Luke 21:19. Also on Matthew 16:26. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Luke 9:25

Matthew 6:25 Be not anxious for your life [μη μεριμνατε τηι πσυχηι μων]
This is as good a translation as the Authorized Version was poor; “Take no thought for your life.” The old English word “thought” meant anxiety or worry as Shakespeare says:“The native hue of resolution Is sicklied o‘er with the pale cast of thought.”Vincent quotes Bacon (Henry VII): “Harris, an alderman of London, was put in trouble and died with thought and anguish.” But words change with time and now this passage is actually quoted (Lightfoot) “as an objection to the moral teaching of the Sermon on the Mount, on the ground that it encouraged, nay, commanded, a reckless neglect of the future.” We have narrowed the word to mere planning without any notion of anxiety which is in the Greek word. The verb μεριμναω — merimnaō is from μερισ μεριζω — meris class="normal greek">παγωμεν πιωμεν περιβαλωμετα — merizō because care or anxiety distracts and divides. It occurs in Christ‘s rebuke to Martha for her excessive solicitude about something to eat (Luke 10:41). The notion of proper care and forethought appears in 1 Corinthians 7:32; 1 Corinthians 12:25; Philemon 2:20. It is here the present imperative with the negative, a command not to have the habit of petulant worry about food and clothing, a source of anxiety to many housewives, a word for women especially as the command not to worship mammon may be called a word for men. The command can mean that they must stop such worry if already indulging in it. In Matthew 6:31 Jesus repeats the prohibition with the ingressive aorist subjunctive: “Do not become anxious,” “Do not grow anxious.” Here the direct question with the deliberative subjunctive occurs with each verb (περιβαλωμετα — phagōmen class="normal greek">ενδυσηστε — piōmen class="normal greek">τηι πσυχηι — peribalōmetha). This deliberative subjunctive of the direct question is retained in the indirect question employed in Matthew 6:25. A different verb for clothing occurs, both in the indirect middle (πσυχηι — peribalōmetha fling round ourselves in Matthew 6:31, σωμα — endusēsthe put on yourselves in Matthew 6:25).For your life (Πσυχη — tēi psuchēi). “Here καρδια — psuchēi stands for the life principle common to man and beast, which is embodied in the διανοια — sōma the former needs food, the latter clothing” (McNeile). πνευμα — Psuchē in the Synoptic Gospels occurs in three senses (McNeile): either the life principle in the body as here and which man may kill (Mark 3:4) or the seat of the thoughts and emotions on a par with πσυχη — kardia and dianoia (Matthew 22:37) and pneuma (Luke 1:46; cf. John 12:27; John 13:21) or something higher that makes up the real self (Matthew 10:28; Matthew 16:26). In Matthew 16:25 (Luke 9:25) psuchē appears in two senses paradoxical use, saving life and losing it. -DIVIDER-

John 12:25 Shall lose [ἄπολέσει]
The best texts read ἀπολλύει , loseth. See on Luke 9:25. [source]
Acts 27:10 Damage [ζημίας]
Better, as Rev., loss. Hurt and damage (A. V.) is tautological. See on the kindred verb, notes on lose, Matthew 16:26, and east away, Luke 9:25. [source]
Acts 17:24 The world [τὸν κόσμον]
Originally, order, and hence the order of the world; the ordered universe. So in classical Greek. In the Septuagint, never the world, but the ordered total of the heavenly bodies; the host of heaven (17:3; Isaiah 24:21; 40:26). Compare, also, Proverbs href="/desk/?q=pr+17:6&sr=1">Proverbs 17:6, and see note on James 3:6. In the apocryphal books, of the universe, and mainly in the relation between God and it arising out of the creation. Thus, the king of the world (2 Maccabees 7:9); the creator or founder of the world (2 Maccabees 12:15). In the New Testament: 1. In the classical and physical sense, the universe (John href="/desk/?q=joh+17:5&sr=1">John 17:5; John 21:25.; Romans 1:20; Ephesians 1:4, etc.). 2. As the order of things of which man is the centre (Matthew 13:38; Mark 16:15; Luke 9:25; John 16:21; Ephesians 2:12; 1 Timothy 6:7). 3. Humanity as it manifests itself in and through this order (Matthew 18:7; 2 Peter 2:5; 2 Peter 3:6; Romans 3:19). Then, as sin has entered and disturbed the order of things, and made a breach between the heavenly and the earthly order, which are one in the divine ideal - 4. The order of things which is alienated from God, as manifested in and by the human race: humanity as alienated from God, and acting in opposition to him (John 1:10; John 12:31; John 15:18, John 15:19; 1 Corinthians 1:21; 1 John 2:15, etc.). The word is used here in the classical sense of the visible creation, which would appeal to the Athenians. Stanley, speaking of the name by which the Deity is known in the patriarchal age, the plural Elohim, notes that Abraham, in perceiving that all the Elohim worshipped by the numerous clans of his race meant one God, anticipated the declaration of Paul in this passage (“Jewish Church,” i., 25). Paul's statement strikes at the belief of the Epicureans, that the world was made by “a fortuitous concourse of atoms,” and of the Stoics, who denied the creation of the world by God, holding either that God animated the world, or that the world itself was God. [source]
1 Corinthians 3:15 Shall suffer loss [ζημιωθήσεται]
He shall be mulcted, not punished. See on Matthew 16:26; see on Luke 9:25. [source]
1 Corinthians 3:15 He shall suffer loss [ζημιωτησεται]
First future passive indicative of ζημιω — zēmiō old verb from ζημια — zēmia (damage, loss), to suffer loss. In Matthew 16:26; Mark 8:36; Luke 9:25 the loss is stated to be the man‘s soul But he himself shall be saved (αυτος δε σωτησεται — autos de sōthēsetai). Eternal salvation, but not by purgatory. His work is burned up completely and hopelessly, but he himself escapes destruction because he is really a saved man a real believer in Christ. Yet so as through fire Clearly Paul means with his work burned down (1 Corinthians 3:15). It is the tragedy of a fruitless life, of a minister who built so poorly on the true foundation that his work went up in smoke. His sermons were empty froth or windy words without edifying or building power. They left no mark in the lives of the hearers. It is the picture of a wasted life. The one who enters heaven by grace, as we all do who are saved, yet who brings no sheaves with him. There is no garnered grain the result of his labours in the harvest field. There are no souls in heaven as the result of his toil for Christ, no enrichment of character, no growth in grace. [source]
2 Corinthians 7:9 Ye might receive damage [ζημιωθῆτε]
Rev., might suffer loss. See on Matthew 16:26; see on Luke 9:25. This somewhat obscure sentence means that the salutary moral results of the apostle's letter compensated for the sorrow which it caused. The epistle which won them to repentance was no damage to them. [source]
Philippians 3:8 I have suffered the loss [ἐζημιώθην]
Rev., better, I suffered; when I embraced Christianity. Lit., was mulcted. See on Matthew 16:26, and see on cast away, Luke 9:25. [source]
2 John 1:8 We lose [ἀπολέσωμεν]
The best texts read ἀπολέσητε , ye lose. So Rev, with destroy in margin. For the meanings of the verb see on Luke 9:25. [source]

What do the individual words in Luke 9:25 mean?

What for is profited a man having gained the world whole himself now having destroyed or having suffered the loss of
Τί γὰρ ὠφελεῖται ἄνθρωπος κερδήσας τὸν κόσμον ὅλον ἑαυτὸν δὲ ἀπολέσας ζημιωθείς

ὠφελεῖται  is  profited 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Middle or Passive, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ὠφελέω  
Sense: to assist, to be useful or advantageous, to profit.
ἄνθρωπος  a  man 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἄνθρωπος  
Sense: a human being, whether male or female.
κερδήσας  having  gained 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἐπικερδαίνω 
Sense: to gain, acquire, to get gain.
κόσμον  world 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: κόσμος  
Sense: an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government.
ὅλον  whole 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: ὅλος  
Sense: all, whole, completely.
ἑαυτὸν  himself 
Parse: Reflexive Pronoun, Accusative Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἑαυτοῦ  
Sense: himself, herself, itself, themselves.
δὲ  now 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: δέ  
Sense: but, moreover, and, etc.
ἀπολέσας  having  destroyed 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἀπόλλυμι  
Sense: to destroy.
ζημιωθείς  having  suffered  the  loss  of 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Passive, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ζημιόω  
Sense: to affect with damage, do damage to.