James Finley

In Mark 10:28, Peter speaking to Jesus says: "See we have left all and followed You." Peter was obviously asking what their reward would be for the sacrifices they made. The answer is recorded in verses 29-31 and is worthy of study and consideration.

Jesus told Peter that anyone who has left house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, wife, children, or lands "for My sake and the gospel's" will receive certain blessings in "this time and in the age to come." The first thing we should notice is that He specified that the sacrifices in question must be made for His sake. This teaches us that we are to put Jesus and the gospel before family and possessions and that when, because of maintaining such priorities, we are caused to suffer we will also receive a hundredfold (hundred times) in this time or during our time on earth. Now there may be some who would argue that a hundredfold wives or a hundredfold children might not be a blessing and certainly that is not the meaning. Clearly, the people or possessions given up are literal but the blessings received are spiritual. One who determines to live his life for Christ regardless of the cost is member of a great spiritual family and therefore enjoys the love and care of many more than would be included in his physical family. Certainly no true child of God should ever want for love or the basic needs of life and thus he is blessed in this time. However, all is not "peaches and cream" for Jesus states that these blessings will be received "with persecutions."

Notice that the teaching cuts two ways. If a person receives blessings from being a member of the spiritual family then it certainly means that family must love and care for him. In other words, God uses His people as the instrument through which the named blessings are bestowed. We must do our part!

The blessing to be received in the age to come is stated in just two words - "eternal life." Just two words to describe a blessing which is really beyond human comprehension. What we can understand is that there is no greater blessing than eternal life and blessings received in this life are nothing in comparison. Truly, to put Jesus first is the most rewarding thing that a person can do on this earth.