Thursday 10 November 2016

Bible Book:

] ‘Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life.’” (v. 29)

Matthew 19:27-30 Thursday 10 November 2016

Psalm: Psalm 45


As Jesus travels to Jerusalem to die, a rich young man has justbeen challenged to give all his possessions away to the poor inorder to have treasure in heaven; he could not do it (Matthew 19:16-22). Jesus then uses theopportunity to teach his disciples about the danger of trusting inriches rather than the sovereignty of God (Matthew 19:23-26). Now Peter responds bypointing out that the disciples have themselves indeed carried outthis teaching: they have already left everything behind in order tofollow Jesus. And in so doing they have placed themselves under thesovereignty of God. So if as a result they will have treasure inheaven, what exactly does that mean? "What then will we have?"Peter asks (v. 27).

Jesus promises them that the 12 disciples will share in his rulein heaven. When he speaks of them "judging" the tribes (v. 28), heis using the term in the way that it is used in the book of Judgeswhere the emphasis is not on a particular verdict but on the powerof the judge to have their verdict accepted because people obeythem. Their judgement will, however, be subject to the rule of theSon of Man who will be king of kings (and judge of judges).

In Mark's version of this story (Mark10:28-31) all who have renounced goods and family for his sakewill receive a hundredfold in this life - and, by the way,persecutions! - and eternal life in heaven. Matthew convenientlyomits the persecutions, and emphasises that the hundredfold (or'manyfold' according to some manuscripts) will only be receivedafter the Son of Man enters into glory.

Verse 30 is a regular saying of Jesus, which we also findelsewhere (Matthew 20:16, in a better context; and asimilar saying at Matthew 23:12). Here it tells the disciplesthat though they now feel among the last, they will become first inthe kingdom.

To Ponder

  • Should people only follow Jesus because they hope to berewarded in the future?
  • What difference does it make to you - if at all - whether youwill receive your reward on earth or only in heaven?
  • If you were one of the disciples ruling over God's people, howwould your obedience to Christ make you exercise that power? And ifyou currently have power over people (as a manager or teacher orminister perhaps?) how does your current obedience to Christ affectyour exercise of your power?
  • Judas was also promised a throne - did he lose it? Is God'sgrace limited? Can what has been promised to any follower of Jesusbe lost by subsequent behaviour?
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