Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
No ransom can purchase life. You may remember, as I do, the dying hours of a monarch who emphatically lived to pamper the flesh, to serve lusts and pleasures, but not for God or his fellow men. When he knew the fatal hour was approaching, he said to the medical men about him, "Oh, I would give any sum you name, if you would but give me another year of life." But it was of no use. They could not; they could but shake their heads and tell him that One only could give life, and when He saw fit He would take it away — God, even God. There is nothing in this world that a man can find, which will bribe death to stop away. Kings die, and their sceptre and crown roll in the dust, Philosophers succumb, and all their busy chambers of the brain, which have been occupied by deep researches, become occupied by the worms of the earth. The young man, glorying in his beauty and strength, succumbs to death, and his sun sets at noonday. And the pretty babe, which is just opening like a bud in all its infantine beauty — ah, how often does death lay its cold hand on that! There is no conceivable thing capable of saving a man, woman, or child, whom God has appointed to die. By the question in the text, our Lord means this; and He means more than this. He refers also to the life of the world to come. What ransom shall a man give for that life? There is such a ransom. There is One who has found a ransom. It is Jesus. He is the life of the world. He that hath the Son hath life. Have you found this ransom?
(R. W. Dibdin, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?