Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.” (Mark 10:28–30)
Here's how John Piper explains Jesus's words to Peter in Mark 10:28–30:
What Jesus means here is that he himself makes up for every sacrifice.
If you give up a mother’s nearby affection and concern, you get back one hundred times the affection and concern from the ever-present Christ.
If you give up the warm comradeship of a brother, you get back one hundred times the warmth and comradeship of Christ.
If you give up the sense of at-homeness you had in your house, you get back one hundred times the comfort and security of knowing that your Lord owns every house.
To prospective missionaries, Jesus says, “I promise to work for and be for you so much that you will not be able to speak of having sacrificed anything.”
John G. Paton, missionary to the New Hebrides (today’s Vanuatu in the South Pacific) gives a beautiful testimony of the nearness and friendship of Christ when he was utterly alone, having lost his wife and child, and now surrounded by hostile natives as he hid in a tree.I climbed into the tree and was left there alone in the bush. The hours I spent there live all before me as if it were but of yesterday. I heard the frequent discharging of muskets, and the yells of the savages. Yet I sat there among the branches, as safe in the arms of Jesus.Never, in all my sorrows, did my Lord draw nearer to me, and speak more soothingly in my soul, than when the moonlight flickered among these chestnut leaves, and the night air played on my throbbing brow, as I told all my heart to Jesus.Alone, yet not alone! If it be to glorify my God, I will not grudge to spend many nights alone in such a tree, to feel again my Savior’s spiritual presence, to enjoy His consoling fellowship.
If thus thrown back upon your own soul, alone, all alone, in the midnight, in the bush, in the very embrace of death itself, have you a Friend that will not fail you then? What was Jesus’s attitude to Peter’s “sacrificial” spirit?
Peter said, “We have left everything and followed you.” Is this the spirit of “self-denial” commended by Jesus? No, it is rebuked. Jesus said, “No one ever sacrifices anything for me that I do not pay back a hundredfold — yes, in one sense even in this life, not to mention eternal life in the age to come.”
Desiring God, Multnomah Books (Colorado Springs, CO), pages 240–241
The above excerpt is the October 27 reading for Desiring God's free devotional app, Solid Joys (available for iPhone and iPad, soon for Android). We've picked a solid joy for every day of the year by identifying 365 of the best cuts from Piper's “big three” books (the “trilogy” of Desiring God, Pleasures of God, and Future Grace), along with key online content from the Desiring God site.
Our hope is that you'll be able to dive in for just a moment each day and come away with something solid to feed your joy in God.
Download the app for free in the iTunes store (or find it by searching for “John Piper” or “Desiring God” or “Solid Joys”).
UPDATE: As of December 6th, 2012 this app is now available for Android, too!