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God’s Word for You

Luke 18:28-30 eternal life

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Tuesday, December 18, 2018

28 Peter said, “Look, we have left our possessions and followed you.”

This is one of those moments when Jesus’ disciples (in this case, Peter, perhaps speaking what many if not all of them were thinking) asked a question that stepped backward into worldliness. It’s a very human question, isn’t it? The wealthy man refused to give up his possessions, but what about them? They had given up so much! Yes, it’s a very human question, but it isn’t a Christian question. Yet Jesus answers with an insight into the gracious blessings of God that staggers our imaginations.

29 He said to them, “Amen I tell you: Anyone who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will most certainly receive many times more in this age. And in the age to come, eternal life.”

With “Amen I tell you,” Jesus calls our attention to something very important. There are two futures to talk about: this lifetime, and the next. Christians do not do anything for a reward. We do the things we do out of thanks to Jesus for what he has done. Nevertheless, God promises us a reward of sorts. In this lifetime, “this age,” we will have misery and grief, in part brought on by the things, especially the relationships, that we will give up for the sake of the gospel. Yet God promises us “many times more in this age.” By entering into the fellowship of the Christian church, we become surrounded by parents, brothers, sisters, children, and friends, who far outnumber those we may have had to leave because of the name of Jesus. But God also promises us more. On account of our faith, we have confidence, comfort, and peace, even in this lifetime. We don’t question what’s to come. We simply wait for it, and we know that the end of days will finally arrive. As for the age to come when Christ returns, he tells us outright: “Eternal life.” This blessing will grow and multiply itself in such a way that we will never find immortality to be a burden. There will be no boredom, no dullness to the sheen of heaven. There will be no longing or wistfulness. There will be joy, reunion, constant discovery, true enlightenment, knowledge, happiness, and refreshment.

Pastor Lenski says something so excellent here that it needs to be shared with everyone who does not have access to his fine commentaries. He compares what Matthew, Mark and Luke each quote Jesus as saying following the words “for the sake of….” In Matthew, it is “for the sake of my name.” In Mark, “for the sake of me and for the sake of my gospel.” Here in Luke, “For the sake of the kingdom.” All three divinely inspired authors are relating the same incident and the very same speech of Jesus, and yet the precise terms they use are a little bit different. Yet all three writers are describing the work of the gospel; the revelation of God to man. Lenski says: “The sense is the same, which illustrates the work of divine inspiration, which does not necessarily imply the sameness of the verbal expressions but the exactness of all verbal expressions to convey just what the Spirit wants conveyed” (Luke p. 924).

We have the word of God, given for our good. Treasure it always, study it, take it to heart. And trust in the promise of eternal life through Jesus.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

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