Living Word Lutheran Church, Moses Lake, WA (livingwordml) wrote,
Living Word Lutheran Church, Moses Lake, WA
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A Note from Pastor Lou: Truly #42 -- No Other Way

No Other Way                                                                                                                                                                                        2.19.2021  

   


Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife
or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,

who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.

Luke 18:29-30
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          This is the second time we are hearing a version of this promise from Jesus.  The story of the "Rich Young Ruler" is told in all three of the synoptic Gospels with slight variations among the three narratives.  Luke's telling is somewhat shorter with a slightly different emphasis.  The conclusion of the narrative is the same in all three versions, "What is impossible for man is possible with God," with the final promise to Peter and the disciples being virtually the same -- to paraphrase, "Don't worry, you who follow me will receive very much more than what you give up in this time and in the age to come eternal life."

           At times, we have a sense that this cannot be true.  We all know of someone who seems to have made a lot of sacrifices for God and ended up unrewarded for their efforts.  Maybe some of us are harboring secret resentments along these lines.  "I could have been XYZ, or I might have done ABC, except the Word of the Lord drew me in another way."  These are natural human responses consistent with Peter's question to the Lord in these narratives, "What about us who have sacrificed all to follow you?" We can point to Peter and his disciples and ask, did this really come true?  From all appearances they led rough lives, traveling around, being persecuted, arrested and beaten, and finally martyred for their confession of "Jesus is Lord."  But if we truly look at their lives and our own, would they not say -- should we not say, does Jesus not say -- that it is completely worth it?  Jesus has his own family -- brothers, sisters, and mother -- come and try to get him to stop what he is doing.  They think he is crazy and risking his life.  His response is "These are my true brothers, sisters, and mother,"  pointing to his disciples.  He stays on course, because to deviate from it is to violate his Father's will -- to see all those who could be saved, not be saved.  Was the cost worth it?  Evidently he and his Father think so.

           So it is with a believer.  Whatever the costs may be in terms of house, relatives, and material comfort, they simply fade away in comparison to what is promised and what is experienced.  To travel together with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ on the path to the eternal destination that our big brother Jesus laid out for us is far better than being on any other road.  Family life without Jesus is no fun.  Material blessings without Jesus is just one darn thing after another, never enough.  Spiritual life without Jesus ... I don't even want to contemplate what that would feel like.

           This promise from Jesus, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers, parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life,” is simply true and valid, without question.  Would you have your life any other way?

          Remember Whose you are,

           Pastor Lou

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