What a bold question to ask! And yet, it is not a foolish question. In the previous passage (Verse 16-26,) a young man asks Jesus what he must do to obtain eternal life. Jesus tells him to follow the commandments. After he says that he follows the commandments, Jesus tells him to sell all that he has and to follow after Him. The rich young man went away grieved because he could not or would not give up all his possessions. So in light of this conversation, Peter’s question is appropriate, Since “we have left everything and followed You, what then will there be for us?”
This got me thinking, “What have I left behind?” Do I ask the same question of God, “What do I get?”
I haven’t left my family or my work to follow Jesus; nor have I sold all I have. So, will I NOT inherit eternal life?
I’ve also realized that I often look for some reward or compensation for what I do. I often do work for people for no charge. But I do, I receive gratitude and I feel good about it. So, do I truly do it for nothing, or do I do it for the reward of feeling good about myself?
To understand this passage, we need to know that there are two worlds: the physical and the spiritual. We exist in the physical world of sin, but Jesus calls us to live in the spiritual world. The spiritual world is where we find God, His word and His Spirit. Since we are both physical and spiritual in nature, that creates a struggle within us.
So, the things we are to leave behind are the physical things that separate us from God, even our family or our work. We must be willing to leave behind the physical things of this life in order to enter into eternal life! We must be willing to follow Jesus. The operative word here is “willing.” God knows our heart and He knows also that our spirit might be willing, but our flesh is weak. We are not called to be perfect, but to strive towards perfection. We need to recognize those things in our life that separate us from God and stop them from separating us, but allowing Him to change our hearts or if it becomes necessary to cast them away to do so.
He gave His life for us and expects the same of us. Are you willing to give Him your life, in order to have life, that is, eternal life with God forever? Do not forget that Jesus is the author and perfector of our faith. If we could do it ourselves, we would not need Him. Trust in God for all you do. Live for Him and He will take care of the rest. That is what grace is all about!