Peter said, “Behold, we have left our own homes and followed You.” And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house, or wife, or brothers, or parents, or children for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time, and in the age to come, eternal life.”
Having heard Jesus’ words to the rich man, Peter spoke up (as he often did). In essence, he said to Jesus, “We have given up everything for you.” Peter reminded Jesus that they had already done what He commanded of the rich man. Jesus knew what they had sacrificed; He knew what all they had given up in following Him. Hearing their doubts, Jesus responded with words of reassurance.
As if to ease their anxiety in that moment, Jesus told the disciples that everything they had given up—family, homes, and income—would be returned to them multiplied in the present life and the life to come. In following Christ, one lays down all of these things, but in return receives a spiritual family and a spiritual home that cannot be taken away. Disciples of Jesus find their place in His eternal family, but also hardship on this side of heaven. Jesus made no attempt to make the journey out to be easier than it would be. It would be a hard road, but it would be worth it. That which they had given up in this life had far less value than what they would receive in Heaven.
The only way we can lay everything down in this life is because we have the hope of the resurrection. Believers know that what we can see, taste, and touch in this life is not the end. That is not to say this life doesn’t matter. However, if this life is all you have, then it will indeed be much harder to part with possessions. If the only security you have is that which you can earn with your own hands, then you are likely to respond to Christ’s call as the rich ruler did. But to follow Jesus is to seek the greater treasure—Him. Everything else will ultimately fall short of eternity.
- How do eternal rewards help us in the present life? Do you find it difficult to keep an eternal perspective of wealth and possessions? Why?
- If the promise of heavenly rewards far outweighs anything this world has to offer, why do we cling so tightly to those things?
- Ask the Lord to set your heart on things above more than things of this world.