Our Savior’s Amazing Doctrine
“Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last first. And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him, Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.” (Mark 10:28-34)
That which our Lord Jesus Christ taught not only astonished the public, it also amazed his disciples. Truly, those things our Lord taught, his doctrine concerning his grace, his salvation, and his sin-atoning sacrifice are amazing things to consider.
A Glorious Promise
The very first thing that catches our attention as we read this brief paragraph is the fact that our Savior’s response to Peter was not a word of rebuke but a glorious promise.
“Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life” (vv. 28-30).
Peter’s statement in verse twenty-eight was an honest, true statement. He might be blamed for the reason he made this statement. He might be blamed for the apparent expectation he had of the Lord rewarding him, as though he had earned a reward from the Lord of Glory. Matthew tells us that this statement was followed by a very foolish question. — “What shall we have therefore?” (Matthew 19:27).
Yet, when all is said and done, if our faith in Christ does not involve the kind of self-denying devotion and consecration to Christ that Peter here expresses, our faith is an empty, vain delusion. — “Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.” True faith forsakes all and follows Christ. True faith is the unqualified, unreserved surrender of myself, my life, my all to the dominion and rule of the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord, my Master, and my King. This is what the story of the rich young ruler in the preceding paragraph teaches. If salvation can be gained simply by believing the right things, that man would not have gone away sorrowful. Salvation involves leaving all for Christ’s sake and the gospel’s.
Our Savior graciously seized the thought suggested by Peter’s carnal question to assure us that having left all to follow him, his disciples have lost nothing, and gained indescribably more than any of us can ever imagine.
“And Jesus answered and said, verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life” (vv. 29-30).
Few promises can be found in the Book of God more comprehensive than this. I know of none that hold before us such great encouragements for life in this world, as well as in the world to come. Let every faithful, but faint hearted follower of Christ mark this promise, read it often, meditate upon it daily, and find in this cluster of grapes wine to make his heart merry. Let all who endure hardness and persecution for Christ’s sake and the gospel’s study this promise well and drink often from this deep well. It speaks of this life and of the life to come.
Child of God, whatever it is that following Christ costs you, you shall receive in this life one hundredfold! As Israel lacked nothing all the while they roamed about in the wilderness, as the disciples lacked nothing while they walked with the Son of God on this earth, so our Savior declares that the obedience of faith will never cause us to be in want, but shall only enrich us a hundredfold in this world.
Not only does the Son of God promise us pardon, peace, redemption, and reconciliation through his blood and his grace, he promises us that we shall have, even here upon the earth, comforts and joys more than sufficient to make up for that which we have left for him. Child of God, bear me witness. — Is this not so? Have you not found in the communion of God’s saints new friends, new relationships, and new companions more loving, more faithful, more lasting, more valuable, and more numerous than you ever had before? That may seem impossible to any who do not know our God, his grace, or his people; but every believer in this world will say, “Amen,” to what our Lord here asserts. Our God supplies all our need “according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
In addition to all this our Savior promises all who follow him eternal life in the world to come. — “The Lord will give grace and glory!” He gives grace here and he will give glory hereafter. As soon as we put off these earthly tabernacles, we will enter into the glorious rest of the sons of God (2 Corinthians 5:1-9). In the last day, in the resurrection morning, we shall be given honor, joy, and glory surpassing our highest, most reverent expectation (1 Corinthians 2:9). Our light affliction here shall redound to our Savior’s greater honor and our greater joy in eternity (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). We shall dwell forever with the Son of God in a world where sin and sorrow, sickness and death, Satan and temptations, parting and weeping shall be no more! Child of God, take heart. Time is short. Our sorrows shall soon be no more. Our end is sure. Weeping may endure for the night; but joy will come in the morning!
A Solemn Warning
“But many that are first shall be last; and the last first” (v. 31). — Here is a solemn warning. Our Master saw the self-conceit which defiled his disciples, and frankly warned them all to be watchful over their souls. If this warning was needed by Peter, James, and John, how much more it is needed by you and me. Let us take heed to these words and learn what they mean.
Without question, this warning was applicable to the twelve Apostles to whom it was first given. There was one standing among them who was more highly esteemed and trusted than all the others, who was a devil and would soon be in hell. His name was Judas. He was the first, in his own eyes and in the eyes of the twelve; but now he is the last.
There was another who was not among them. In fact, he was just a young man, a young Pharisee, being trained at the feet of Gamaliel, a zealous religionists, learning to hate Christ, his gospel, and his people. Any who knew him would say, “This young man is the last man who would be numbered among the disciples of Christ;” but God had purposed otherwise. The young Pharisee’s name was Saul of Tarsus. Soon, he would be elevated to the most prominent position in the kingdom of God.
This warning explains the entire history of the Church of God in this world. There was a time when Asia Minor, Greece, and Northern Africa were flourishing with the light of the gospel; but now their light has been tuned into darkness. Today, in this land, which was once darkness, God has established the light of his grace again. Let us take heed lest we as a people are again engrossed in utter darkness.
This warning is a warning which ought to sound as an alarm in the ears of us all. How many there are known to us all who seemed to run well for a season. They stood out in the crowd. They seemed to be head and shoulders above the rest of us. They were so zealous, so committed, so knowledgeable, so confident, so sure about everything. They were the first. But now where are they? They are gone. They are the last. The love of the world got one. The deceitfulness of riches got another. A bad marriage got another. A flattering woman took another. False doctrine destroyed another.
Let us pray for grace to run our race to the end. It is not enough to begin well. We must persevere. We must continue in the faith. We must end well. God give us grace to begin with Christ, stay with Christ, and end with Christ!
A Faithful Surety
In verses 32-34 we see that our Lord Jesus Christ is indeed a faithful Surety. Calmly and deliberately, our Savior told his disciples why he was going to Jerusalem and all that he must there suffer and do as our great Surety, Substitute, and Savior.
“And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him, Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.”
The Son of God went up to Jerusalem willingly, purposefully, and deliberately to die there as our covenant Surety.
“The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed” (Isaiah 50:5-7).
“And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father” (John 10:16-18).
He went to Jerusalem to suffer and die at the hands of wicked men on the cursed tree by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. The Lord of glory went to Calvary to make satisfaction to the law and justice of God for the sins of his people, that he might put away our sins and save us by the sacrifice of himself.
On the third day, after his death as our Substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ publicly declared that he had fully satisfied the justice of God and put away all the sins of his people, which were made his and imputed to him, by rising from the dead. And he who has satisfied the whole of God’s law and justice for his people will, without fail save those people for whom he has made satisfaction. He who was able to satisfy the law and justice of God and rise from the dead is able to save to the uttermost every sinner who comes to God by him. If the Lord Jesus Christ so willingly suffered all the hell of God’s wrath for us, it is but a most reasonable thing that we should devote ourselves to him. May God the Holy Spirit give us grace to do so.
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