Mark 10:29-30 “Jesus said, ‘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, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.’”
Mark 10:29-30 is a parallel passage to Luke 18:29-30, which we discussed a few weeks ago. Some use this passage specifically to say, “See! God wants me to prosper materially! I will get houses, and lands! I will have a large family! God promised!” Unfortunately, that misses the point entirely.
When we become Christians, we are adopted into God’s family. We all become children of God. Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” We are now family! As family, we care for and help each other. Galatians 6:10 reminds us, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
The passage in Mark, as well as the parallels, all help us to realize that when we become Christians we have a large and loving family that is willing to care for us. We have adopted brothers! We have adopted sisters! We have adopted children! We have adopted fathers! We have adopted mothers! And this becomes even more important because our physical family may not be around for one reason or another, or because our own relatives have not been very good examples or helpful to us.
So, what about houses and lands? Well, if you have family who cares for you, you have access to them. We talked about how difficult that can be in a more prosperous society. If all you have are four walls and a roof you may be more likely to have anyone come in and stay with you. What is yours is theirs! If you have more than that, you may be nervous about having someone in, or you may also be worried about the safety of your children or your spouse. So what can we do? I believe that the example of the early church can help point the way: “And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need” (Acts 2:44-45).
“Pastor, are you suggesting that I sell everything?” No, we covered that a few weeks ago too! What I am suggesting is that when we are generous we can care for people. One way that we do that locally is through the benevolence fund of our church. By pooling our resources we have provided food, gas, appliances, temporary housing, utilities, car repairs, school supplies and countless other items to those who are in need. We have even been able to help those in need find employment from time to time! True, we keep a lot of this private, but I want you to know that First Baptist is doing its best to fulfill the spirit of Jesus’s teaching regarding the family of God when it comes to financial needs. But we also need to realize that it’s up to each of us individually to make sure that we are doing what He says when it comes to our relationships. We need to be parents, grandparents, siblings, and children to each other. For that is when we are truly rich!