Leviticus 24:1-25:46 Mark 10:13-31 Psalm 44:9-26 Proverbs 10:20-21
Verse of the day:
Then Peter began to speak up. “We’ve given up everything to follow you,” he said. (Mark 10:28)
The young rich man came to Jesus wanting to do whatever it took to inherit eternal life. He had been faithfully obeying all the external requirements of Judaism. It sounds like he expected Jesus to say: “You got this! Keep up the good work! See you in Paradise!” However, Jesus challenged this young rich man to give up what was most precious to him for the sake of Jesus. How did the young rich man responded? He left, sad and unwilling to give-up his riches.
Afterwards, Jesus taught His disciples a valuable lesson. “Dear children … it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” Here Jesus was exaggerating for emphasis. Yet, His message is clear. You have to love Jesus more than anything in order to follow Him. To accumulate wealth during Jesus’ time was considered to be a sign of God’s approval. Jesus taught against this common assumption by saying that it was hard for rich people to enter the Kingdom of God. Since you must be willing to surrender that which is most dear to you in order to follow Jesus, the more you have the harder it will be to give it up for the sake of Jesus.
Peter told Jesus “We’ve given up everything to follow you.” Jesus’ answer to Peter is a powerful promise for all of those who give up what they love the most for the sake of Jesus.
“Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”
In other words, Jesus said “You will receive everything you love in return when first you give it up for my sake.”
Like the young rich ruler, we are faced with the challenge to give up that which is dear to us for the sake of Jesus. Do you love Jesus more than your life? What do you need to give up? What things in your life are not allowing you to follow Jesus?
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” (Jim Elliot)