Then answered Peter and said to him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed you; what shall we have therefore?…
We must understand the requirements of religion; and not over-value the things which we are obliged to give up. Some say "that a Christian must renounce all the world, all its gains, and pleasure." This has been true in the world's history; as in case of Xavier, Wesley, and missionaries. These exceptional cases. Then some people think that if they love Jesus Christ, they must be careful not to love wife and children too much. This is a mistake. God has made the family and cemented it with love. It is not necessary for a man to love God more that he love family less. There is a difference between that sacrifice which brings everything to God, to be regarded as His, and that slavery which dispossesses of all worldly goods and earthly affections in order to appease the heart of the infinite Creator. Love of God intensifies our home affections. So with regard to worldly possessions. A man is not called upon to endanger his working capital, but to consecrate it. The rules of the gospel bend to wealth; and a Christian has a larger expectancy of possessing the good things of this life. But he views himself as the steward of God, and does not allow it to imperil his soul's salvation. Then comes another question: If I am a follower of Christ, what is to be my attitude towards the world's amusements and pleasures. Give up the follies of the world, not its true pleasures. There is a high sense in which a man is to live soberly in Christ Jesus. If any man has a right to the pleasures of the earth, it is His disciple; he has a right to inherit its fruits, blessings. He has the joys of sense, and others much higher and richer in the green pastures. I would like to ask the Christian if he really thinks that he gives up much in following Christ? Our sacrifices have been joys to achieve in faith and love. But there will come a time when the text will have a certain literalness about it, when "there will be no question as to what we leave, but what we are going to find? The man will have to turn his back upon his possessions. All will have forsaken us. He will then fulfil the promise of eternal life. This the final consummation. We shall not then in the eternal sunshine be disposed to think much of what we have given up to follow Christ.
(J. R. Day, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?