In It For Me?
By Steve Wilber
Mankind exists in a state called the Human Predicament. The
observed motions of society have as their object, the pursuit
of happiness as the goal and purpose of life.
This pursuit of happiness is explored in ancient fable, and
sought through modern social legislation. Socialism and Capitalism,
the vigorous protagonists of contemporary social struggle,
each contend that they can show the path to ultimate human
It was into the midst of a society seeking this quality of
life by religious means, that Jesus came. He walked among
men in their busy daily activities and said, "Follow
me." These words are repeated in the Gospels at the calling
of His disciples a call to come out of the uneasy status of
common humanity, and to "be" with Him.
Sometime during his walk with Jesus, Peter said,
"Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee;
what shall we have therefore?" Matt 19:27.
Peter, being the man of precipitate will that he was, gave
voice to the question that burned in his and every other disciple's
heart, then, and for all time. What Peter is really asking
is, "How are things going to turn out for us in view
of our obeying Your call?"
Of paramount interest in this account is the fact that Jesus
does not rebuke Peter, but rather treated the question as
being very natural. It is a question of elemental human interest;
"What is going to become of me?"
Jesus answers by relating Peter to two distinct orders of
life. To the natural mind with its characteristic fearful
outlook, Jesus speaks confidence.
"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one
of them shall not fall on the ground without your
Father. But the very hairs of your head are all
numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more
value than many sparrows." Matt 10:29-31.
But, for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see, Jesus
promises the disciples an hundredfold of what they had left.
"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 upon twelve thrones, judging
the twelve tribes of Israel.
"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." Matt 19:28-29.
It is evident that the Day of Pentecost introduced a new
order. In the upper room, in the burning intensity of God's
creative urge, a new creation came into being, something never
before seen on earth. As God walked the earth in the person
of the God Man, Jesus of Nazareth, so now He is expanding
His influence through the Church.
Until the end of the first century, the Apostolic Church
shook the world with a heavenly dynamic. Undeniably, these
Galilean fishermen possessed a functional authority of awesome
proportions they "had" something.
Let Paul, a man functioning in Kingdom authority, testify.
"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to
every man for the common good." I Cor 12:7.
Here is a picture of the New Covenant community, the only
proper sphere of operation for the new order of life. We see
every believer drawn into a place of Kingdom involvement.
"How is it then, brethren? when ye come together,
every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine,
hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an
interpretation. Let all things be done unto
edifying." I Cor 14:26.
This is the answer to Peter's question according to the supernatural
dimension. This corresponds to the "Thrones" spoken
of by the Lord in Matthew 19:28. "Hath" means that
we have receive something.
We have been given a Divine endowment called "gifts"
along with an effective God made channel for the realization
of Divine government in the corporate function of these giftings.
There is also a personal function, as these giftings must
be worked out in a developing relationship with Jesus Christ
as revealed in Peter's statement, "we have followed Thee."
Thus the question, "In following Jesus as Lord, what
shall we have?" has its answer in the super abundance
of the Kingdom. Here, everyone receives; no one is left unfulfilled.
And the rich gifts we obtain are pertinent to the new order
of everlasting life.
They first produce the practical realization of God's rulership,
"Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven."
And second, they give a dimension of satisfaction to the believer
which no mere religious experience could ever rival - fulfillment.
This is given, not to the selfish unregenerate man, who exists
in another order of life, but to those who are born-again
through the death of Jesus upon the Cross, and His resurrection
from the dead.
This man of the new order of creation - "the hidden
man of the heart" in Paul's epistles, is deemed worthy
of the ultimate self fulfillment in being exalted to the Father's
"To him that overcometh will I grant to
sit with Me in My throne, even as I also
overcame, and am set down with My Father
In His throne." Rev 3:21.