Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields–along with persecutions–and in the age to come eternal life.”
Jesus asked the rich young ruler to leave everything and follow Him. But the young man decided to leave Jesus and go back to his stuff. The incident did not go unnoticed by Peter. He had left a thriving fishing business to follow Jesus. And maybe…just for a moment…the thought of going back to his old life looked pretty inviting. So he spoke up, “Hey, Jesus what about us? We have left everything to follow you!”
Jesus assured Peter that his sacrifice would be rewarded. For now, all the sacrifices of family would be multiplied with all the blessings of Christ’s Body—the Church. In the future, there would be eternal life. And…along the way there would also be some persecution. Jesus’ point to Peter was clear—all sacrifice would be rewarded now and “in the age to come.”
Years ago I heard a story about a missionary who returned from years overseas. He had sacrificed much to serve. As the ship pulled into the harbor he saw a great crowd. A band was playing and balloons filled the air. For a brief moment, the missionary thought the celebration might be for him. But he soon learned that the crowd had gathered for a wealthy celebrity. “That’s about right,” he thought, “I have sacrificed everything for Christ and there is no one to greet me. The self-serving celebrity goes on one trip and returns to this.” As discouragement was sinking into his heart, he heard God’s still small voice whisper in his heart, “Cheer up, man. You’re not home yet.”
Father, remind me often that the sacrifices and sufferings of the present do not compare to the glory I will know and experience forever…when I am finally home. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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