Luke 18:29-30 (NIV)
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”
Have you ever believed so much in something that you would leave your favorite people, places or possessions behind for it if called to do so? What if you couldn’t see what you believed, would you still leave all those things behind?
Jesus made a promise in the first three Gospels to all those that would be willing to leave behind the things that they valued in this world because of how deeply and truly they believed in Him, the Gospel and the Kingdom of God. (Matt. 19:28-30, Mark 10:29-31 & Luke 18:29-30) He made it clear that they would receive much more here in this life and in the life to come in eternity.
Now some have taken promises like these and tried to reduce them to formulas in an attempt to manipulate God, as if such a thing were possible. However that is not the point of the promise in these passages.
Jesus had encountered the Rich Young Ruler, who became a living teaching illustration for his Disciples that Jesus wasn’t about to waste. Here was a young man that literally had it all and couldn’t leave it – why? He couldn’t see the value of what he was leaving those things for. To see that would require believing hard in Jesus, the Gospel and the Kingdom of God and that was a different kind of faith for him.
As Christ followers we must be careful to remember that we don’t obey Jesus and follow him away from ourselves, our lives or our ways because of what we will get. Rather we leave them because we believe much in him and his words! Certainly we do receive much more in the process, which God has left undefined on purpose but those things are up to him to determine as much as when we receive them. All we know for sure is that Jesus promised we will receive much more. And it’s a promise worth clinging to while we prepare ourselves to leave anything else behind! His words are always true…and we will never hear Jesus say that we believed too much!