GOSPEL READING: Mark 10:28-31
28 Peter began to say to him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many that are first will be last, and the last first.”
Meditation: What’s the best investment you can make with your life? The gospel presents us with a paradox: we lose what we keep, and we gain what we give away. When we lose our lives for Jesus Christ, we gain a priceless treasure and an inheritance which lasts forever. Whatever we give to God comes back a hundredfold. Generosity flows from a heart full of gratitude for the abundant mercy and grace which God grants. Do you give freely and generously? And why do you give, for reward or for love?
The Lord Jesus rewards those who follow him
Right after a wealthy young man refused to follow Jesus, Peter, somewhat crudely wanted to know what he and the other disciples would get out of it since they had freely accepted Jesus’ offer to follow him unconditionally. Jesus spoke with utter honesty: Those who left all for him would receive a hundred times more now, even in this life, as well as unending life in the age to come. Jesus’ disciples can expect opposition and persecution from those who are opposed to Jesus Christ and his Gospel.
The joy and treasure of God’s everlasting kingdom
Should we be surprised if we lose favor and experience ridicule, intimidation, and injury when we take a stand for truth and righteousness? In place of material wealth, Jesus promised his disciples the blessing and joy of rich fellowship with the community of believers. No earthly good or possession can rival the joy and bliss of knowing God and the peace and unity he grants to his disciples. The Lord Jesus wants to fill our hearts with the vision of the heavenly kingdom – a kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Do you know the joy of following the Lord Jesus and serving him? Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with the joy and peace of God which does not pass away and with the assurance of his personal love for you which never fails.
Lord Jesus, I want to follow you as your disciple and to love you wholeheartedly with all that I have. Fill my heart with faith, hope, and love that I may always find peace and joy in your presence.
1 O sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory.
2 The LORD has made known his victory, he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
4 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers: The spiritual sense of leaving the family, by Clement of Alexandria, 150-215 A.D.
“Do not let this passage trouble you. Put it side by side with the still harder saying Jesus delivered in another place in the words, ‘Whoever hates not father, and mother, and children, and his own life besides, cannot be my disciple’ (Luke 14:26). Note that the God of peace, who exhorts us to love our enemies, does not arbitrarily require us literally to hate or abandon those dearest to us. But if we are to love our enemies, it must be in accordance with right reason that, by analogy we should also love our nearest relatives… But insofar as one’s father, or son, or brother, becomes for you a hindrance to faith or an impediment to godly life, one should then not collude with that temptation. Attend to the spiritual, rather than the fleshly, meaning of the command.” (excerpt from SALVATION OF THE RICH MAN 22.13)