Many commentators have expressed different views on what are difficult verses to truly understand. (When the Bible gets difficult I always hide behind the fact my devotional blog is just that, a devotion. Nothing more and certainly nothing that can be compared to a commentary. So I hide again!)
A final thought on the pursuit of more ….
“Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.” (Matthew 19 v 27-30)
What was Jesus saying in this context of the wealthy young man? He wouldn’t create the lack in his life for Jesus but Peter and the disciples had. He had pursued more wealth and was pursuing eternal life but wouldn’t pursue lack so walked away sad. However, they had left all to follow and Jesus knew it. He knew they had left their homes and their families for Him.
- They would have positions of authority. Not denying the fact that if I was God I would definitely make sure these 12 were in a good position in our eternal future! (Well not Judas, I would probably swap him for Matthias or the Apostle Paul). But I am thinking more about their authority post Resurrection/Ascension and post-Pentecost when they were filled with boldness, released as missionaries, their gospels and teachings influencing still today the spiritual Israel of God, the Church. These are the thrones of authority.
- Jesus knew that not only the 12 but ‘everyone’ who had stopped pursuing their more and had given up or forsaken for Jesus would gain in this life ‘a hundred times as much’ of new homes of fellowship and new families filled with wonderful relationships. That is the beauty of the world-wide Church and many missionary will tell you their story of finding new families across the world.
- Our eternal home and our life there seems to be impacted by our deposit in our life on this earth. Perhaps we should live more in the light of that fact than we do. What we give up now for the kingdom will be restored to us in our eternity. One day, surrounded by eternal riches (whatever they are) we might be able to say, “We have left all we had to follow Jesus!” It will be so worth it!!
- Finally a reminder of the upside down kingdom of Christ. “the first will be last, and many who are last will be first” in the context of the wealthy young man and the pursuit of more. They are a warning to us all that earthly success will not lead to heavenly reward. In fact our pursuit of success, wealth, fame (even in the guise of goodness and the gospel) can become an entrapment to our lives where we end up losing it all. I have met many who have done so and it began as they commenced the pursuit of more.