31 Then Jesus began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and experts in the law, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke openly about this. So Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But after turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but on man’s.” 34 Then Jesus called the crowd, along with his disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me and because of the gospel will save it. 36 For what benefit is it for a person to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his life? 37 What can a person give in exchange for his life? 38 For if anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
He said to them: What must a man do and thereby ensure that he will live? They said to him: Such a man must figuratively kill himself, by living moderately. Alexander further inquired: What must a man do and ensure that he will die? They said to him: Such a man must keep himself alive, i.e., lead an extravagant and indulgent life. He said to them: What must a man do and ensure that he will be accepted by people? They said to Alexander: He must hate the king and the authorities and avoid becoming too close to those in power. Alexander rejected their answer and said to them: My advice for gaining people’s favor is better than yours. One who wants to be accepted must love the king and the authorities, but he must use his connections to perform beneficial acts for people.