Mark 10:28-31 (NKJV)
Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.” 29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”


This passage is like the “promise statement” to the prosperity movement. By using basic Bible study techniques, I want you to discover what Yeshua is saying here.

I said “BASIC” Bible study techniques. What we are going to do is look at “LISTS”. Any time your given a list of things you should try and determine what is being said in the list of things. We are given two list’s by Christ; one which are things people “leave” and the other are things people “receive”. Let’s look at these two lists

Things people will leave for the sake of Christ: house, brothers, sisters, father, mother, wife, children, lands
Now let’s look at the things people will “receive” for their leaving the other: houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, lands

When we are given two list’s like this the typical thing we want to do is compare. So, let’s put the two side by side.

Things People will Leave Things People will Receive
House Houses
Brother Brothers
Sister Sisters
Father
Mother Mothers
Wife
Children Children
Lands Lands

Do you now see why taking a close look at list’s are important? If you see it but don’t yet get it then let’s look at this in a little more detail.

There are two differences between list one and list two. First, the singular items in list one are plural in list two. Second, there are two items missing from list two that are found in list one. These two differences speak volumes on what Christ is saying.

As in the manner in which He often does, Christ was transferring the physical to the spiritual.

First, we must give up all in this life (Mark 10:21; Luke 14:26). The Kingdom of God comes first. Christ will not be second. Unfortunately, we often don’t really see the value in putting Christ first. If you're wondering where Christ stands in your level of importance, have plans to go on a missions trip and allow your father to die (Luke 9;60). As soon as we’re presented with this challenge and those feelings rise up inside, those thoughts of why Christ would not say to us to let the “dead bury the dead” we are presented with the reality that Christ is not first. Truth is, it usually does not take something so major to show this reality. When life gets busy, Christ is the first thing to typically go. Don’t believe me? Business is the foremost excuse for not reading the Bible, going on missions, etc. We allow all the stuff of this world to encompass our lives and push Christ out.

When we give up the things in column one, we gain the things in column two. I want you to think about the two items missing: Father and Wife. Why would we not gain Father’s and Wives? In the Kingdom of God, God is our Father and our earthly father becomes our brother. In fact, based upon the context of Christ’s statement, in Matt 12:47-48, your spiritual family is more family than your earthly family. While you have just one Father in God’s Kingdom you also have no wife in God’s Kingdom (Matt 22:30). This does not mean we are given divorce papers when we start following Christ yet we do not pick up spiritual wives when we start to follow Him either.

We noted earlier that the things in second list are plural compared to those in the first list. When we give up all the things in list one, we gain all the things in list two; “in this life” He says. This does not mean, as the prosperity message states, that if you give away your house that God will give you multiple houses. In the context of the statement in Mark 10, if we sell our house for the Kingdom of God we will have multiple houses with our brothers, sisters, and mothers.

When I see things like this I like to look for a practical application within Scripture. Usually, when we see statements or commands in one place you will find those things being played out somewhere else. Is this statement of Christ played out in the New Testament church in the Bible? Absolutely.

Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,...
Acts 2:44-46 (NKJV)


Notice that they all sold their possessions is stated in one breath but in the next breath they were meeting from house to house, eating food.

And not this becomes were we are faced with the horrid fact that the current state of the church is not where is should be. Not that we’ve not sold everything we have, though it’s true that we don’t view the things we have as not being ours, but the fact that we rarely gather other than in the church building. When a brother or sister is in need, the majority of the church rarely helps. If a brother or sister were to sell their home for the poor, it would be viewed as a bad financial move and they would be mocked and ignored by the majority of the church; when in all actuality, we should be accepting them into our homes.

This is the problem that we have in a country that has so much stuff with so much bad teaching in both Biblical and financial categories. The church tends to listen to the reasoning of the world and fall in line with their reasoning even though it goes against everything the Bible tells us on how we are suppose to act.