When is Now

Mark 10: 29 – 30

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 farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he shall receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses, and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.”

Love, no matter whom it is for, includes sacrifice. Maturity requires that we subjugate our relentless self-pursuits in favor of caring for those we love. Sacrifice, though, has a reward. Every time we sow into another person, the seed produces a harvest.

Peter told Jesus, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You,” (Mark 10: 28). Jesus made it clear, though, that they had not actually sacrificed anything because God would repay a hundredfold. We cannot out give God, for whatever we give up for His sake or the sake of the gospel, He will repay a hundred times over.

The question I have is, do we believe this? It is a little hard to believe, isn’t it? This dialogue is actually set up in verse 27 where Jesus told them, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” You are hurting our brains here Jesus. It is interesting that Peter’s retort was a declaration of their holiness and sacrifice. Jesus answers saying all this will be returned to you and more besides and our brains just run off the rail. It is hard enough to even begin to wrap our heads around all things being possible but when Jesus brings the “all things” down to earth and closer to our sphere of reality, the impossible looms even larger. How is God going to give us all that Jesus promises in this passage?

One of the ways people have dealt with their inability to believe is to cast all of the blessing into the “age to come” as if our God has reserved all of the good things He is for heaven. If we truly believe God is omnipotent, why would He limit His goodness to heaven? Is He just unable to extend His blessing to earth? Jesus makes it abundantly clear, though, that he was not talking about the great by and by when we are all together in heaven. First, he uses the word “now.” In anyone’s lexicon the word now means now. It is not a complicated idea. Jesus also said, “in the present age.” How can that mean anything but now in the age in which we are living, our present, not our future. You have to be a contortionist to twist these words into “everything awaits us in heaven” and “it is not for us here on the earth.”

It seems, though, that a great many people easily latch onto and believe part of today’s verse. They will proudly claim that they suffer persecutions in the name of Jesus and for the sake of the gospel. They can believe for persecutions but not the hundred-fold return on seed. Why is that? Are not both in the same sentence? How is it that we can believe God for calamity but not for blessing? Who is our God, anyway? Or, who do we make Him out to be?

Jesus is the blessing. God did not send him here to condemn our lives but rather to save them. He is shalom, perfect peace, everything in perfect working order, nothing missing. That is who he is so if Jesus is in your life, then his peace, which is nothing missing, nothing broken, should also be in your life. If there is a broken part of your life, take it to Jesus and ask him why. Learn to receive the hundred-fold from him. Don’t deny Jesus for that is what it is when we confound his words, cloaking them in unbelief. Live to Jesus and receive his words with joy and faith.