Simon Peter’s Big Question

Today, I would like to deal with four verses.

On one occasion, Simon Peter asked Jesus the following question, thinking that he somehow “deserved” to be rewarded for his bravery in following Jesus. “Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?” (Matthew 19:27). Now remember, Jesus is the ultimate mercy-giver, so the way He answers Simon Peter’s question is loaded with mercy. The pattern of Jesus’s answer goes something like this:

(1) First, Jesus says, in effect, “Simon Peter, I’m going to give you a big blessing up in heaven, you’re even going to get to sit on twelve thrones.” (“Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matthew 19:28). This will be Simon Peter’s actual future reward. Jesus answers him literally, in this verse.

(2) Secondly, Jesus says, in effect, “And in general, everyone who follows me will receive a reward.” (“And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” verse 29). This is the general blessing imparted to all Christians who “forsake everything in order to follow Jesus”. (What Jesus is most likely referring to here, is the fact that when we become Christians, we become a part of a new family. We “inherit” all these blessing. “What is yours, now becomes mine. What is mine, is yours.” I do NOT believe in a strictly selfish and materialistic view, which many from certain groups seems to espouse with regards to this particular verse. We do not necessarily receive these blessings personally. A lot of damage has been done to the body of Christ, I believe, and an unnecessary “leading astray” by MANY has occurred as a result of a non-biblical and ungoldly focus (which amounts to idolatry) revolving around this verse.)

(3) Lastly, Jesus says, in effect, “But if you think, Simon Peter, that you actually deserve to get a reward for following me, you are sincerely mistaken!” (“But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” verse 30) This is the stunning last blow, and what a blow! However, notice, if you will, the method by which Jesus “deals” Simon Peter the truth (about Simon Peter’s own pride). He is gentle. He doesn’t “knock him, bash him, thrash him” (like we are so often prone to doing). Don’t miss it — here, I believe, lies one of the great keys to getting our prayers answered. If we would only follow Jesus’s example and be slow in judgment and quick in mercy-giving, when someone else is so obviously filled with pride, we would “find favor both with God and with man” (as was said about Jesus).