THIS WEEK’S FOCUSED SCRIPTURE
27 Then Peter said to him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get?”
28 Jesus replied, “I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. Matthew 19:27-29 NLT
THOUGHTS FROM OSCAR
One of the toughest things my wife Tara and I have had to teach our children is to be generous. Generosity is not a character trait any of us are born with. In the culture and world in which we are blessed to live in, entitlement is something we can see on the rise. If I’m really honest, it is something our family has to fight off more times than we’d like to admit, and I’m not just talking about the kids. The definition of entitlement is: “The belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.” In other words, we strongly believe that we deserve to “get” more than what we are getting.
This is a similar attitude Peter showed while representing the other disciples. Notice he says, “WE have given up everything to follow you. What will WE get?” They may have talked about this to each other when Jesus wasn’t around, and trusted Peter’s reputation to qualify him to bring it up to Jesus. At first, I’m annoyed by Peter, but then I realize that Peter represents us all. How many times do I also follow Christ for what He can do FOR me instead for what He came to do IN me? He came to deal with the broken condition of my heart.
You see, entitlement is very sneaky and never comes alone. It’s always accompanied by pride. It’s pride that reminds us how much we value ourselves and how much we value what we think we’ve accomplished. Jesus responded by reassuring the reward for the disciples, and also for the rest of us who follow Him, although it probably wasn’t something that they, or we, want to hear. It’s not what’s usually preached anymore, especially in our culture. In verse 29, Jesus talks about what his followers will be willing to GIVE up. Houses? Okay. Brothers or sisters? I’ll gladly give. Father or mother? That’s a lot more, but I understand. Children? Wait, what? Seems crazy at first until we realize this is exactly what the disciples did. It’s almost as if Jesus is saying, “You’re not entitled to GET if you follow Me; you are empowered to GIVE up.”
Salvation is free, but following Christ has a costly price. It will cost us our pride, our entitlement, our reputation, our constant desire to “GET.” It will cost us our friends and family members who may not believe like we do. It will cost us possessions as we give to those in need. We are in this world, but we are not of this world. Our inheritance is not what will amount up on this earth. It’s not fame, not money, not social media. We can’t take any of this to heaven. Our inheritance is eternal life. The only thing we take with us is people. What is Christ asking us to Give up for His sake?
I encourage you to also read James 2:14-20 and 1 John 3:17-18.