Mat 19:27 Then Peter said to Him, "We've given up everything to follow You. What will we get?" Mat 19:28 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.Mat 19:29And 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.Mat 19:30But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then. [NLT]
What does it mean to give everything to Jesus?
This is the "big" question. At this point the disciples are feeling like they have given everything up, careers, family and home; to gain what the Messiah can give them. Remember that at this time it was the common belief that the Messiah would come and overthrow the Roman rule and setup a new Kingdom on this earth. Jesus, in His infinite mercy and wisdom, gives them two things here.
1. Hope in a greater reward because of their sacrifice, and
2. A lesson on what it means to be the greatest and eligible to receive that reward.
Let's start with Mat 19:28 because it is important to note that Jesus is talking about a future reward "when the world is made new.." This may have thrown the disciples a bit of a curve because they were still thinking of temporal reward. Notice the question in verse 27, "What will we get?"
Often Christians today think that following Jesus is about gaining a monetary increase here on earth. They come to Jesus because they have been told that He will give them wealth and influence. This is the same reason that the rich young man came to Jesus. Many modern Christians today have lost sight of what sacrifice really means. They do not understand that it is only through sacrifice of self and the humbling of the desire (giving that desire up) for wealth and supremacy on this earth that we find our true reward with Jesus in the end. Mega churches of today focus on meeting the needs of their membership and in so doing lead them into viewing a relationship with Jesus as a means of having their earthly material needs fulfilled. Jesus has been turned into the Santa Claus of self fulfillment and not the Savior of souls. This is false teaching and the leaders of these churches are false prophets.
We need a change of heart that makes us desirous of nothing this world has to offer. This is a change of heart that is brought on by knowing, understanding and submitting to Jesus. Notice in verse 29 what Jesus states...
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for My sake
We need to give up our homes, our wealth and our families to become true born again followers of Jesus? Yikes!
Some may be able to give up their homes, but our children? Why is He making a list of things that are so precious and important to us?
Don't misunderstand. This is a giving of your complete heart to Jesus allowing Him to live in and through you. Jesus is not stating here that you must give them up literally before you can become his follower; He is only asking for us to give them up in our hearts so that if we are ever required to leave these things behind for HIS SAKE we will be able to do so. This is called conviction. Having a fixed or firm belief in Jesus and His word and promises.
Notice the statement "for My sake," . Some interpretations use the phrase "for My name's sake". Whenever we see the "name" of Jesus mentioned we can interpret it also as "character" of Jesus. In other words, Jesus is saying that if you have His character you are asked to give up everything you hold dear on this earth to follow Him into a future reward that is 100 times greater. It can also mean that as His followers we must give up everything to glorify His name/character. There is one other way to look at this. If we have His character we will WANT to give those things up if they pull us away from doing the Father's Will.
What does this change of heart look like?
But many who are the greatest now will be least important then...
We have touched on the answer to this question already by stating that we must give our lives over to Jesus. He defines it for us by stating that the greatest now (on this earth) will be the least (in heaven), and those who are least important here (on this earth) will be the greatest then (in the future). Becoming the least means humbling yourself.
Humbling yourself to who or what?
When we humble ourselves to another person or even to another thing we give ourselves to it. For instance; if I become enamored with video games or movies and movie stars and I spend all of my extra time playing them or learning about them or thinking about them then I have humbled myself to these things. I have given myself over to them.
Giving yourself to a "thing" or "idol".
I was once addicted to the game World of Warcraft. I had a couple of close friends that were as well. When we got together it was all that we talked about. Those around us, who were not a part of that game, would look at us like we were talking a foreign language, because they didn't understand the game. I remember family members would say in irritation; "All you ever do is talk about that stupid game." It was true. We had given ourselves over to it. We had submitted to it and humbled ourselves to what the game had to offer.
Giving yourself to another person.
We can also give ourselves over to another person. We can become so entrenched in their ideologies their way of thinking their direction that we do everything their way. For instance, there are people who humble themselves to movie stars. They watch what they do. They listen to what they say. They buy what they tell them to buy. They dress the way they tell them to dress. They seek to change and become like the one that they have given themselves over to and they start to look and sound like the movie star.
Humbling yourself means that you are serving what or who you are humbling yourself to.
Jesus understood this principle 100%. He lived it. He gave Himself over to the Father and completely served Him all the way. He did nothing that was not pleasing to the Father. This is full and complete humbleness; full and complete surrender. Jesus understood also the basic principle that we MUST serve someone. There are two persons in this Universe, powerful forces, who seek for you to humble yourself to them. Jesus said...
Mat 6:24"No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
God seeks for you to humble yourself to Him so that He can care for you and love you, and save you. He does it by being the greatest example of humbleness that ever existed. He gently calls to you. He never forces or pushes you against your will.
Satan, on the other hand, seeks to deceive you into following him. He tricks you with pleasure, scares you with fear, manipulates you with want and "need". He enslaves you with no consideration for your life or your soul. He understands that if he can get you to "worship" or "humble yourself to" anything other than God, he is receiving that worship.
Who will you choose today?
Today is the day of salvation. Humble yourself before God. Give Him the privilege of coming into your life and let Him start to guide you. Don't worry. He does not condemn your mistakes. He will lead you into new desires and a new focus; gently. Be a servant of Christ and see how joyous life can be!!
Gal_1:10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? or am I striving to please men? if I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ.
Dear Father in Heaven,
I praise You and I thank You for Your amazing humbleness. Lord, it drives me to my knees. I give You the privilege of coming into my life today. I thank You for what you accomplished on the cross, for me.
Please be with my family and friends. Be with those who are in need and help them to see their need for You. I give myself to You today and I want You to know that if there is anyone that I can work with on Your behalf, please put them in my path and use me.
Thank You for all that You provide. Change my heart. I love You. Amen.