Wednesday, June 02, 2010



Peter said to him, "We have left all we had to follow you!"

The rich, young ruler has heard Jesus' direction to him: "Sell everything you have and give to the poor. Then come, follow me." The man walked away sad and, no doubt, Jesus was also saddened by this encounter when He said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"

This statement may have caused more confusion than you might think. Remember Job? As long as he was rich, he was viewed as a blessed man of God. And, when his riches were taken away, the assumption was that he had sinned. This rich, young ruler was probably viewed by many as a very spiritual man-blessed by God. So, if this man who was keeping the law and seemed to be blessed by God with his wealth wasn't going to make it into salvation, then, "Who is going to be saved?"

The rich trust in their wealth to open doors of heaven for them. But the net value of their wealth in heaven is zip. Jesus makes it clear that only if they become as little children will they enter the kingdom.

It's in this context that Peter says, "We have left all we had to follow you." It was a statement begging some sort of response. Matthew's gospel adds the words, "What then will there be for us?"

Jesus answers Peter's question simply: "Truly I tell you," Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life."

The point here seems to be that your reward for being faithful and giving your all will be highly abundant. Matthew and Mark's account give specifics of reaping 100 times-super abundant results.

To me Jesus is saying simply this: YOU CAN'T OUTGIVE GOD. Whatever you think you have given up for Jesus and the Kingdom will be abundantly supplied back to you. This abundant reward is both near and far-temporal and eternal.

This reminds me of the kingdom parable where the man found a treasure in a field, hid it and then went back and sold all he had in order to buy the land. Or, the parable about diligently searching for a fine pearl. And, when he finds it, goes and sells all that he has to purchase that pearl. One comes into the kingdom by surprise and the other by careful searching. But both of them see the kingdom for its invaluable quality and go for it with their whole hearts.

We can all become a little discouraged from time to time. But know for certain that whatever you have given up for Jesus and the kingdom will be abundantly rewarded. You can count on it. So, with a reckless abandon give it all up for Him. You'll never regret it!