Dr. Dan Hayden • 

I’ve made a lot of bad deals in my life, but nothing as bad as the deal Jabez Stone made with the devil. Let me tell you about it.

In Matthew 16:26, Jesus asked His disciples a thought-provoking question. He said, “For what is a man profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or, what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” The picture of a man offering his soul in exchange for something is that of a person putting his soul up for sale.

The word “exchange” is a compound Greek word from a verb that means “to make different, or change,” with a prefix that means “instead of, or opposite.” Therefore, the word literally means “to change one thing for something else instead.”


In 1938 Stephen Vincent Benet wrote the classic short story, “The Devil and Daniel Webster.” In the story, a beleaguered New England farmer named Jabez Stone made a deal with the devil. If the devil would make him prosperous, he would give the devil his soul. He exchanged his ultimate destiny for his immediate fortune. But payday came too soon for Jabez Stone, and he regretted the deal he had made with the devil when he had exchanged his soul for a few years of good fortune.

Well, unfortunately, that a deal many people make. It is said that “every man has his price.” So, what would it take for you to sell out? You may say, well “I’d never exchange my soul!” But don’t be so sure. It happens all the time. You see, the devil makes his deals for people’s souls under an assumed name, like success, popularity, fame, and fortune, good times, or the easy life. The principle is this: Whatever it takes that keeps you from investing your life with Christ, — accepting Him as your Savior – is what you have exchanged for your soul.

Say – if you’re exchanging your soul, you’d better read the fine print.