John 12:25 : He who loves his life will lose it. He who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life.
It is clear that Jesus is not saying that we are to hate life. If that were so, why would He expect us to be attracted to “eternal life”?
The key phrase here is “in this world,” which also brings up a question when taken out of context. Is Jesus saying that we should live in hatred of our lives here? We also know that the Bible says we are to “rejoice in the Lord always.” It should be made known that, in the context of the Bible as a whole, Jesus cannot be saying that we should be hating everything about our lives in the world.
To unravel this coded mystery that Jesus is speaking, we should look closely at other places where the “world” and “life” are mentioned, where the idea is being discussed in the same context. Let’s look at what Matthew recorded:
Matthew 16:24-28 : Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will render to everyone according to his deeds. Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste of death, until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
Now this really shines light on what John was saying doesn’t it? The same words: “world” and “life” are used but we get more context here. Notice what Jesus says here. He asks, “what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his life?” He also says, “whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it.”
At this point in the life of Jesus, people were very interested in the resurrection of Lazarus. The idea that death could be optional had become a practical reality. “In this world”, death is a real problem for us. No matter what we do, it greets us at the end and forces us to give up everything we have gained.
Jesus is giving mankind an offer we really shouldn’t refuse. We can give up our lives to Jesus the Resurrector and He will give it back to us forever, or we can go on in this world and lose everything in the end.
We can see around us that “the world” is not a friend to those who refuse to “gain” it. The world wants you to be a good “consumer”. Jesus wants you to become a mass producer of love and life and stop worrying about food and clothing. This world refuses Jesus. The world in this context is no friend of ours and is undesirable. It is no wonder that the world is this way:
2 Corinthians 4:3,4 : Even if our Good News is veiled, it is veiled in those who perish; in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the Good News of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn on them.
Satan, here, is called, “the god of this world.” Knowing these things, it is very wise to hate our lives in this world and give them up to Jesus, so that He can give them back to us forever. Then he will also end up taking the world away from the “god of this world.” When that happens, life in this world will be completely different. In our new lives, we will be able to enjoy this world when Jesus returns.