Is it worth following Jesus?

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” 


Mark 8:34   

The world is full of stories of men and women who have embraced something that they thought was of great value, only to be disappointed in the end.  We all know stories of some, who after a life time of work, learn how lonely and empty their lives are after retirement.  

Why does it take some of us a life time to see how the things that capture us today have no value tomorrow?  Why is it so difficult to see how important it is to invest in things that have real value and will last forever?  I think the answer is simple, we probably have not sat down and counted the cost.

In Mark 10:20, the Apostle Peter makes a simple statement.  The context is he and the disciples just saw a rich young ruler walk away from Jesus.  To this Peter responds, “See, we have left everything and followed you.”  What was Peter getting at here?

There are several possible thoughts behind Peter’s statement.  First, he may have simply been asking Jesus, “Is it worth it?   We have left everything to follow you, Jesus, is it worth the sacrifice?”  Remember now, when Jesus invited Peter and many of the other disciples to follow Him, they abandoned their homes, families and fishing businesses on the Sea of Galilee. 

Now as they finished up their third year with Jesus, Peter may simply be asking here, “Where is my reward?”   To this Jesus answered, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time."

Another possibility behind Peter’s statement is a spiritual pride.  “Look Jesus, we are not like that rich young ruler who just walked away from you because of his home, family and business, we left it all.  That makes us better, doesn’t it?”    To this Jesus answers in Mark 10:32, "many who are first we be last and those who are last would be first."  In other words, God will reward and His reward will be according to His economy not man's.

A final possible meaning behind Peter’s statement is it comes from a twinge of envy or self-pity.  After looking at the rich young man walk away, Peter knew that the man was walking away from the sacrifices and hassles he and the other disciples were enduring.  Perhaps Peter was tempted to think as the man walked back to his comfortable life., that he (Peter) made a mistake in following Jesus.  To this, Jesus answered in Mark 10:31, that the disciples who wouuld follow Him would have "eternal life."    

Whatever was behind Peter’s response here, Jesus answers all possible concerns we might have and ultimately says, yes it will be worth it.  Whatever sacrifice we make in following Him will be rewarded many times by God, yes a hundred fold in this life and the life to come.