Giving up everything

Gospel for Tuesday, March 5th. 28 Peter began to say to him, “We have given up everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel 30 who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come. 31 But many that are first will be last, and (the) last will be first.”

Earlier (3:35) Jesus had redefined his family. “(For) whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” For many of the first believers, following Jesus meant leaving everything behind. What one gained by leaving the biological family behind was the faith-community, those who were doing the will of God.

Peter again acts as the spokesman for the Twelve. His response stands in stark contrast to the refusal of the rich man to follow Jesus (yesterday’s gospel). The Twelve had abandoned everything in order to follow Jesus (Ch. 1:16–20; 2:14). Lane [371-2] notes that “Jesus’ response defines Christian existence in terms of promise and persecution, and history as the interplay of blessedness and suffering. The contrast between the present age and the age to come is thoroughly Palestinian in character and expresses the tension between promise and fulfillment in the life of faith. The frank recognition of the loss that allegiance to Jesus and the gospel may entail (cf. 13:12f.) is conditioned by the promise that all that is lost in one society (v. 29) will be regained a hundredfold in the new society created by the dynamic of the gospel (v. 30). This reassurance is addressed to any man who suffers loss for Jesus and the gospel. God takes nothing away from a man without restoring it to him in a new and glorious form. Jesus’ reference to the new family which will compensate for the loss sustained in one’s own family finds its preparation in 3:31–35.”

William L. Lane, The Gospel of Mark, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1974) 362-73

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.