November 2, 2017. Luke 18:15-19:48.
There is the general belief that following Jesus involves being miserable. That it involves going without. This belief comes from examples of what Jesus told a certain ruler who wanted to know how to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells this ruler, who has lived a life of obedience to the commandments of God, that he must do one more thing.
Luke 18:18:22 “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
While these were specific instructions for this ruler, there are many examples of believers doing similar things as they follow the Lord.
- Giving up time
- Giving up money
- Giving up a job
- Giving up a favorite hobby
- Giving up a favorite habit
All to follow the Lord. Doesn’t it seem to make sense that this “giving up” will make a person miserable?
But Jesus totally contradicts this belief.
Luke 18:29 So He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”
Note the bold words! It is not having less but actually having more. Having more to rejoice over because of one’s choice to follow the Lord.
The sceptic might then respond, “Great theory, got any good examples?” In fact there are immediately two examples. One is a nameless individual who came to Jesus desiring to give up his miserable life of blindness. When Jesus asks this blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?” the man replies he would like his sight.
Luke 18:42-43 Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God.
Then there is a man named Zacchaeus, a rich tax collector. Part of his accumulated wealth came at the expense of others. When Jesus came to town and told Zacchaeus He would be staying at his home we are told,
Luke 19:6 So he (Zacchaeus) made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.
And unlike the rich ruler,
Luke 19:8-9 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house,
Whereas the rich ruler walked away from Jesus sorrowful, the blind man and Zacchaeus follow Jesus joyfully, and glorifying God.
Following what Jesus says does not make one miserable, but gives the joy of receiving “many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”
How is Jesus desiring for you receive many times more?
How is Jesus desiring for you to follow Him today?