Peter began to tell him, “Look, we have left everything and followed You.”
“I assure you,” Jesus said, “there is no one who has left house, brothers or sisters, mother or father, children, or fields because of Me and the gospel, who will not receive 100 times more, now at this time—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and eternal life in the age to come. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. They were astonished, but those who followed Him were afraid. Taking the Twelve aside again, He began to tell them the things that would happen to Him.
“Listen! We are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death. Then they will hand Him over to the Gentiles, and they will mock Him, spit on Him, flog Him, and kill Him, and He will rise after three days.” (Mark 10:28–34)
Jesus once again spoke in paradox. After the incident with the rich young man unwilling to sell everything and follow Jesus, Peter told Jesus that he and the other disciples had left everything. Peter’s words were a hunt for reassurance.
So Jesus reassured Peter that those who had left much would receive eternal life, even as they still had parents and fields in abundance—with all the persecution those things would bring. But Jesus was not suggesting that if we give up everything, we get more physical stuff back in return. What had Jesus elsewhere said about mothers, brothers, sisters? That those who do the will of God are his mothers, brothers and sisters (Mark 3:33-35). Likewise, Jesus said the fields being white unto harvest and to pray for harvesters to go out into them (John 4:34-38). Jesus was not promising wealth and prosperity for those who sacrificed for him. Instead, he was promising what we would gain from spending ourselves for God. We gain the harvest of righteousness and the harvest of more souls for the kingdom. And inevitably, our proclamation of the Good News can bring persecution sooner or later.
Though in this world we may seem to have lost everything because of our devotion to Jesus, come the kingdom, we will be rich indeed. Where our hearts are, that’s where our treasure is.