26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? Matthew 16:26
Jesus is speaking rhetorically here. Those are two questions for the ages.
So what happens if you are the richest, most powerful person in the world? Then what?
What if you have everything you need in life and require nothing else, then what?
We see the second question alive and well in politics and Hollywood. People will make risky, promiscuous trade-offs to get where they want. Actually, that kind of stuff happens in the “real” world too but more so it seems in politics and the entertainment industry. People just crave the power, wealth, and fame that those two “industries” give them.
Many will do far less for even lesser gains.
In the context in which Jesus asked these questions, He was referring to losing yourself and counting the cost of discipleship.
Rather than gaining what the world offers, giving ourselves over to Christ and becoming His servant is the place we want to be in.
We certainly can learn from those overachievers who will stop at nothing to get what they want in whatever industry they’re in. We learn from their bad example. Unfortunately, we also learn after the adoring crowds have faded and political underclass is finished with that person as well.
The late Billy Graham preached from this often and it always ended the same. “If you gained the whole world, was it worth it?”
Invariably the answer is no because none of it satisfies the soul, nor was it ever intended to do so.