TWO SIDES OF THE ONE COIN
Mark 10:28-31 Peter said to Jesus, “We have left everything to follow you!” “I tell you the truth,” 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…and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Remember earlier that Jesus himself commanded Peter to leave his fishing nets behind and follow. Jesus is not condemning Peter because of his laments over lost time with family and friends. Rather, Jesus is helping Peter, and us, see the act of self-denial not as a badge of honor. We are not to boast of our qualified standing as ministers or missionaries for Christ. Nothing in our leaving the secular world for ministry life earns us special favor with God; after all we are only being obedient in doing what he has commanded.
Understand that our leaving the life we have always known is a journey in receiving from Jesus a life so staggeringly full of grace and glory that any sacrifice made to obtain it pales by comparison. If we leave our family behind, we gain a new family of disciples. If we give up our possessions, we gain the right of sonship in the new kingdom. Give up your house and you gain a mansion in heaven. Lose your life and you gain a new one.
Following Jesus is not about giving up all that you have in this world. It is about gaining the abundance of eternal life both now and forever more. This is the double movement of discipleship, leaving behind and receiving abundantly, the two sides of the one coin.
Jericho Road Ministries Chapel, 2010.