Luke 18 verses 29 & 30. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.”
The apostle Peter must have been following this exchange between Jesus and the rich man quite closely. In his head he is thinking about what he and the other disciples had left behind in order to follow Jesus. So he bursts out with this statement. “We have left all we had to follow you” (v 28).
It seems that Peter might have suggested that their sacrifice was in some way meritorious, especially when compared with the rich man’s attitude. Our Lord immediately deals with this perception by making two very important observations.
The first thing Jesus does is point out that every disciple is abundantly compensated for any loss he may incur for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Not only do his disciples receive eternal life in the hereafter, but here in this world they receive more friends, family and homes than anything they would leave behind, because of the fellowship of Christians around the world. How many poor besieged believers over the centuries have found help in the home of another believer? Travelling missionaries and preachers have also felt the truth of these words as they travel around the world to make Christ known. Homes to stay in and friends everywhere, as Christ promised.
But moving to verses 31-34, Jesus took the apostles aside and told them of the sufferings that awaited him at the end of his journey and how that after these sufferings would come the resurrection.
How embarrassed they must all have felt at their small-mindedness in “giving up everything”, compared to God giving his Son for our salvation. But they did not understand. Luke uses three clauses in verse 34 to indicate that they did not at that time understand the full importance of what Jesus was saying.
This is true of us too. Often we read or hear things regarding Christ or His Gospel, but the full weight of what we have been told is not grasped by us. Light sometimes dawns slowly, hence the need for faithful reading of scripture and constant hearing of His Word.
So then, who are the people who get in to the Kingdom of God? They are those who see themselves as God sees them, as lost sinners, who cry out, “God be merciful to me, a sinner”. They are those who like little children trust their parents implicitly, so they implicitly trust in Christ for Salvation and for preservation. They are those who see Christ and His Kingdom as the most valuable thing on earth and would be willing to give up all to know that they have eternal life.
Those are the ones who get in.
Are you among them?