Anyone who invests is always looking for the best possible return on their investment. No one wants to invest hard earned money into something that is going to lose money. In the same way, before we decide whether or not we want to do something, in our minds we do a calculation on what will I get in return for what is being asked of me. This is generally how we decide whether or not we want to do something. We seldom think of it this way, but we say things such as, “I want to make sure it is the right thing to do” or “I don’t want to waste my time.” Those are cost-benefit analysis statements. By the way, we should really ask ourselves those types of questions. We all have a limited time in this life, and we want to have a maximum impact. Therefore, we have to make hard decisions about what will I give my time to, and what will I not? We see this cost-benefit analysis in the life of the disciples as well. Jesus had just had a conversation with a rich young man, who was only willing to follow Jesus to the point where he was comfortable. He wasn’t willing to sacrifice what he had to follow Jesus. This leads Jesus to teach about how difficult it is for those who trust in their riches to be saved. One important note, Jesus didn’t say it was wrong to be rich. Rather, He said it is wrong to trust in those riches, especially when it comes to your eternity. Peter then declares what he and the disciples have left in order to follow Jesus. Here, Peter is essentially asking, what are we going to get for what we gave up? Jesus’ reply was, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall 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” (Mark 10:29-30).
In response to Peter’s question about what would they receive in return for following Jesus, Jesus gives him an incredible return on investment promise. Jesus is saying, you really won’t be giving up anything of real value, instead you will be gaining an inheritance and a whole new family. Now, to be fair, Jesus did also warn the disciples here that it wouldn’t all be a bed of roses. He said that for following Him they would receive persecutions. However, in light of what they are receiving, even the persecutions are worth it. We can hold on to the things that we have in this life, and one day lose them as well as our eternity. Or, we can hold on loosely to the things of this life, and cling tightly to eternity with Jesus and gain both now and in eternity. No, these verses are not proof of the prosperity Gospel, which says God wants you always to be happy, healthy, and wealthy. Again, Jesus said this was going to cost the disciples, as well as you and I something. So, when we choose to follow Jesus what do we get that is greater than anything we could have on this earth? We get Him! We become a child of God, with His power living inside of us, His presence always with us, and assurance of all the promises He has given to us. What makes following Jesus worth everything in this life is Him. There is nothing we can do on our own to deserve a relationship with Him. There is nothing we can do to earn it. It is something given to us by His grace, and it is something that we can never lose. All the things in this earth are here today and gone tomorrow. However, as God’s child, we will always have Him and that is something that money, fame, education, or good works can never buy. That makes it the most valuable thing in the world.
By His grace and for His glory,