This excerpt comes from Robert Gundry’s commentary on Luke:
Self-interest for the present means avoiding discipleship because of unwillingness to endure persecution. Self-loss for the present means willingness to endure it. Self-interest in the end means eternal life. Self-loss in the end means eternal ruin. So what do you want? Immediate gratification at the cost of hell later on, or delayed gratification at the cost of present persecution? Jesus’ second reason for picking up your cross and following him makes losing or forfeiting yourself in hell the price of gaining the whole world, as if gaining it were possible. To gain the whole world you’d have to avoid persecution by pleasing the world. But in hell you wouldn’t be able to enjoy what you’d gained. And “forfeiting himself” defines “losing yourself” as punishment for unwillingness to pay the price of persecution. Jesus’ third reason for picking up your cross and following him attributes that unwillingness to your being ashamed of him and his words, and contains the warning that as the Son of Man he’ll reciprocate by being ashamed of you at his second coming. To be ashamed of Jesus and his words is to reject them so as not to suffer insults, taunts, and ridicule. Likewise, his being ashamed means rejecting whoever out of shame has rejected him and his words.
© 2012, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.