Every person ought to read Matthew 19.27-30 before being baptized. The passage follows on the disciples’ shock at Jesus’ statement about the rich young ruler. The great lover of wealth was told to give up all the supposed signs of God’s approval. When he walked away with his gold and without Jesus, our Lord sighed deeply at the difficulty of letting go of financial security in order to trust in eternal care.
If not his class, then who could hope to make it to heaven?
Man cannot, but God can, said the Enabler of All. But the Condition of cross-bearing and self-immolation and world-denial remains.
“Are we in that group?” asks Peter. “Do we meet the condition? We turned our back on netting a living to follow you. Is there any of that possibility-hope left for us?”
For that wavering doubter the Fullness of God drew back the curtain to paint the richness of life tethered to the Son, both now and in the hereafter.
“This is yours, Peter, for you are mine, when I became your Lord.”
Then Peter said to him, “Look, we have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth: In the age when all things are renewed, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And whoever has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
Matthew 19.27-30 NET
If you are the 1%, nothing in the investments or mansions that you surrender will come near to the riches of heaven at your disposal.
If you are a power-broker, your brokenness of soul will bring strength you never imagined in your darkened state of perdition.
If you are an adulterer or homosexual, no pleasure or relationship that you surrender can compare to the blessedness of intimacy with Creator God.
If you are an intellectual, no theory or philosophy can hold a candle to the wisdom of God.
If you live for your family, no-place-like-home will not warm the heart like the burning expectation of eternity at the side of the elder Brother and God the Father.
We think of what we are called to give up in order to become Christians. Jesus calls us to consider what we gain when we abandon the nothingness we have heretofore pursued.
Just as Jesus must have sighed at seeing the back of the young rich man, he must have smiled at Peter’s question, “What will there be for us?”
If you only knew, Peter. If you only knew.