One of the struggles a Christian faces is the loss of relationships, position, and possessions because of following Christ. Every true Christian knows something of this—some more than others. The first disciples left everything to follow Jesus. It was a tough life including poverty, lack of housing, and ridicule by the religious elites of their time. This, among other things, led Peter to ask Jesus what the disciples would receive because of their self-sacrifice on account of him.
Then Peter said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us? And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. ”—Matthew 19:27-29
We are tempted to questions his motives, but deep inside we have the same question but are too afraid to ask. Thankfully, Jesus answered his question graciously. The Lord understands the difficulty and self-sacrifice involved with following him and has promised to reward those who do so with much more and better than they lost in the process. I especially like how J. C. Ryle explains this:
“We may rest assured that no man shall ever be a real loser for Christ. The believer may seem to suffer loss for a time, when he first begins the life of a decided Christian. He may be much cast down by the afflictions that are brought upon him on account of his religion. But let him rest assured that he will never find himself a loser in the long run. Christ can raise up friends for us who shall more than compensate for those we lose. Christ can open hearts and homes to us, far more warm and hospitable than those that are closed against us. Above all, Christ can give us peace of conscience, inward joy, bright hopes, and happy feelings, which shall far outweigh every pleasant earthly thing that we have cast away for His sake. He has pledged His royal word that it shall be so. None ever found that word fail. Let us trust it, and not be afraid.”
—Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels Matthew – Mark