Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.” (Mark 10:28-31)When Jesus told his disciples that "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" they wondered "Who then can be saved?" Jesus told them that "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."
Thus we learn that human beings cannot save themselves, salvation is only possible with God. And this leads us to our passage for today. Peter reminds Jesus that he has left everything to follow him. Peter must have been wondering what he would get in return.
So Jesus assures Peter that no one who has left family or fields (possessions) for his sake, and the sake of the good news, will fail to receive a hundred times as much even in this present age. Thus, the missionary who leaves home and family for Jesus receives a new spiritual family through those who are won to Christ through his or her ministry.
None of this comes, Jesus warns, without persecutions. Anyone who sets out to follow Jesus and share the good news about Jesus with others, is going against the flow of this world, and so there are bound to be hardships. But the reward the Lord has for us is greater than anything this world can give.
Many years ago, I was serving in youth ministry in a church, and started a Bible study with some 9th grade boys who were not members of the church. Those boys ended up giving their lives to Christ, and one of them, Tim, tried to bring many of his friends to our little Bible study. A few came and also received Christ. But many of Tim's friends were resistant, until Tim suddenly died one summer from meningitis. The very next week, we had over twenty young people attend that Bible study, and many more accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior over the course of that summer. The mother of one of the original boys in that Bible study gave me a framed saying for my birthday, signed by all the youth in that group. It said, "Work for the Lord. The benefits are great, and the retirement plan is out of this world!"
That is so true. Peter may have doubted what kind of reward he was going to get for following Jesus. That's why Jesus had to remind him that the ways of the kingdom are upside down and backward compared to the ways of this world. Many who seem to be first in this world are going to be the last in the end; and those who seem to be last, including many followers of Jesus, are going to be first in eternity.