Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!” Verse 28 (NIV)
On occasion when finances were very tight, and life was difficult I asked the same question Peter asked. Of course, I did not give up as much as the disciples but the chance to be a partner in a housing business was given up and the chance to build my own house and sell it with good profit and then do it again and again, was lost as well. When I saw friends, who had gone on with their business lives and lived with ease there were those small pains of having forfeited a life of financial gain.
Peter exclaimed, “We have left all we had to follow you!” And Jesus understood Peter’s concern. Jesus knew that his closest followers had left valuable relationships behind to follow him. They had left their homes, wives, children, aging parents, and promising careers. They had left the most crucial relationships people have in life. It was not about wealth or power for the disciples; they had left family relationships and all the blessed conversations and memories that go with them – all for the sake of being with and following the Son of God. So, they needed reassurance.
Jesus explained to a fearful Peter and a frightened crowd that the blessings of full life in God’s kingdom happen both now and in the life to come. Jesus held out the promise that leaving family relationships for his kingdom vision would result in healing and restoration. Jesus promised that no one keeping company with him would be shortchanged. The life that God has called me and my wife to has not always been easy, but it has always brought a full life of rewards. God is so very good!
Andre Crouch wrote a song that expressed this so well.
“If Heaven was Never Promised to Me.”
But if heaven never was promised to me,
Neither God’s promise to live eternally.
It’s been worth just having the Lord in my life.
Living in a world of darkness,
You came along and brought me the light.
Lord, we know that life on this earth can be tough. Help us to look forward to the time when all is healed in your eternal presence. In your name, Amen.