Today’s gospel is a continuation of the gospel of yesterday when a man came to Jesus, He asks Jesus what it takes for someone to inherit the Kingdom of God.
After the man leaves, Jesus tells his disciples, that it is hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!’
So, this astounds His disciples. Still Jesus repeats to them that it is hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. Such is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ This astonishes them more than ever.
So, they begin to ask each another ‘who can be saved?’
Jesus gazes at them. He says to them, that for men it is impossible. Then, for God everything is possible.
The reason for this sudden amazement of the disciples at the words of Jesus’ words is due to the influence of the Jewish background.
The Jews emphasize the privileged position of the rich. Just like we do today, they believe that to be wealthy was sure evidence of having the blessing of God.
So during this interaction, Peter asks Jesus ‘What about us? We leave everything and follow you.’
Then Jesus replies to him, ‘I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not be repaid a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land – not without persecutions – now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life.
Therefore, whoever leaves everything for the Sake of the Gospel will find His reward a hundred times over.
In essence, whatever one sacrifices for the sake of the word of God, He will still surely find a hundredfold.
It means that whatever we do for the growth of God’s kingdom, God does not overlook every little effort that we make.
God rewards us according to our efforts. Therefore, God does not forsake anyone who leaves everything for the Sake of the Gospel is not forsaken.
Such a person will receive a multiplication of God’s blessings. Therefore, the call to be a disciple of Jesus is not without a reward and also a cost.
What About Us?
During this interaction today, Peter asks Jesus a thought-provoking question. Peter asks Jesus “What about us? We leave everything and follow you”. So, many reasons have been alluded to as the cause of this question.
Remember that earlier before today in Mark 8:31-33, Jesus teaches His disciples that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. Peter rebuked Jesus because the type of Messiah they are waiting for is not the Messiah that will die on the cross.
Jesus rebuked Peter and made them understand that if they want to follow Him they must be willing to carry their crosses.
So, Peter may have been worried about all these and intends to know clearly that since the rich cannot enter the kingdom, what of them?
Therefore, one can still see in the question of Peter, someone who is expecting some sort of material blessing or riches. That is why He was inquisitive of what they will gain.
Jesus’ response to Peter is a pointer that if they have decided to follow him, they have already received their reward. So, they should not worry about material gain or acquisition.
In the same way, sometimes when we work for God, or if we are assigned a position, we forget the most important thing which is eternity and salvation.
Our interest becomes only on what we can gain with that position. Instead of focusing on the work and improving on the standard, we focus on what we are to gain. This is the reason many of us are manipulative. Some people also have turned diabolic.
Even when we come in God’s presence to pray, we seem to focus more on what we can gain, what miracle will come of it and the type of material blessings from God.
When we do not get that, we become worried and intimidated.
What Jesus wants from us is to focus on the work first. For God blesses anyone whoever leaves everything for the Sake of the Gospel
Persecutions But Eternal Life at the End.
God calls us to focus on the work. Jesus says that all these are not without persecutions now in this present time.
Then in the world to come, there is eternal life. In essence, the call to be a disciple of Jesus, a Christian, and true lover of the Word of God is not a work for pleasure, glory and material seeking.
To be a true disciple of Jesus is not without challenges. It is not without persecutions, crosses and betrayal even.
So, we have to prepare our minds for these so that when we encounter these, we do not worry ourselves.
Therefore, whoever leaves everything for the sake of the gospel, should focus. His or her attention should focus on bringing souls to God.
Also, it is not a field just for the enjoyment part of it. Therefore, whoever leaves everything for the sake of the gospel, should know that the call to be a disciple of Jesus is not for enjoyment.
Therefore, the willingness to answer this special call is also a preparation. It is a preparation to face the temptations and challenges along the way. But despite these temptations, there is joy at the end. Eternity awaits all, who struggle to the end.
May God help us to understand this and devote our lives to Him. May He bless you today. Amen,