Lesson 54

The Gospel According to Mark

World English Bible translation

Today's Scripture

10:28 Peter began to tell him, "Behold, we have left all, and have followed you."

10:29 Jesus said, "Most assuredly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my sake, and for the gospel's sake, 10:30 but he will receive one hundred times now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come eternal life. 10:31 But many who are first will be last; and the last first."  

Today's Lesson

The rich young man had approached Jesus and asked Him what should be done to inherit eternal life. After telling the young man that he should keep the Commandments of the Law, Jesus told him that he should sell all that he possessed and give it to the poor. Then he should pick up the cross and follow Jesus. But the young man went away dejected because he loved his wealth in this world more than the promise of eternal life. After this incident Jesus told the disciples that it was very hard for wealthy people to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. He told them that people with money and privilege in this life trusted too much in their wealth and not enough in God.


The disciples were amazed and more than a little disappointed at this teaching from Jesus. They had lived in a culture that taught that prosperity was a sign of God's favor. They were probably thinking that in the Kingdom they would have wealth and privilege. Perhaps that was why they were following Jesus. They thought that when the Kingdom came with power into the world that they would have a position of high status and wealth. But if Jesus spoke so adamantly about the difficulty of the rich being saved, perhaps their plans for the Kingdom would not work out as they dreamed. Peter expressed the dismay of the group when he said, "Behold, we have left all, and followed you."


Jesus reassures them. Those who have sacrificed for the sake of Christ and for the sake of the gospel will not lose their reward. They will receive "one hundred times now in this time." And in the age to come, they will receive eternal life. But Jesus also warns them, "But many who are first will be last; and the last first." The rewards that are offered in this life and in the next will be based on God's system of accounting, not that of this world. Jesus tells them for instance that any that have left their family to follow Him will receive a hundred fold. Indeed, everyone who has been placed into the Body of Christ has become a member of the household of God and all who are in the Kingdom are his family. We inherit all of the wealth of God when we are united in Christ.


But this wealth is not in the terms that the world praises. God does not hoard His wealth in coins or currency. God's wealth is in His creation and in His people. God invests Himself in the lives of other people. The redeemed are His treasure and we represent the inheritance for each other.


God offers us the wealth of the Kingdom: joy, peace, love, patience, and goodness. He is overflowing with the riches of the Spirit. We will never be rich as this world defines riches. But, in Christ, we will be rich in the treasures of the Kingdom of God.


Are you willing to share the riches of the Kingdom of God with His people? Are you prepared to be overwhelmed with the generosity of God?


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