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Shortly after Jesus' interaction with the rich young man:

Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 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. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”—Mark 10:28-31 (ESV)

The rest of the saying is so hopeful, that phrase just sticks out as strange. Was the phrase intended to be a positive as presumably the other items are, or is it just part of the cost of following Jesus, or is it a later insertion reflecting the reality of the early church? Or is there some other way we can read this phrase?

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This question is loosely derived from a post about "upside-down time" and therefore earns all sorts of challenge points. The connection in my mind (which shows which way I lean on the question) is that Jesus is saying we need to be prepared for times when life is a struggle and not expect nothing but blessings when we follow him. –  Jon Ericson Dec 12 '11 at 21:49

1 Answer 1

Jesus has said many times that in following Him, we will endure persecution from the world. That's what He is saying here.

If a person should forsake these things (for His sake and the Gospel's), he will receive a hundred times as much in the family of God; in this time (this current age, which brings persecution, possibly from the people we forsake), and in the age to come.

With persecutions - Persecutions, or the contempt of the world, and bodily sufferings on account of their religion, they "must" meet. Jesus did not conceal this; but he consoled them. He assured them that "amid" these, or perhaps it should be rendered "after" these, they should find friends and comfort. It is well to bear trial if "God" be our Friend. With the promises of the Bible in our hand, we may hail persecutions, and thank God that, amid so many sorrows, he has furnished such abundant consolations.

bible.cc/mark/10-30.htm (Barnes)

I think the reason Jesus mentioned it in this particular verse is to remind us, and possibly console us (as Barnes says) at the same time, in that although we'll receive a hundredfold in forsaking the world for His sake, there will be persecution. And from a consoling perspective: But amidst the persecution, you will find comfort, love, etc. through these blessings.

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Hey @Shredder, I've been glad to see you getting involved in the site here. Can you augment your answer with support for this reading, either with other scripture, or with commentary support, or the like? –  Ray Dec 13 '11 at 14:53
    
Hi @Ray, Happy to be part of such an awesome site! I believe the commentaries on this page support this idea: bible.cc/mark/10-30.htm (forgot how to do hyperlinks in comments >_<) –  Shredder Dec 13 '11 at 17:39
    
Hyperlinks are in the form [text] (link) without the space, of course. –  Jon Ericson Dec 13 '11 at 20:24
    
So your answer is that Jesus is saying that persecution is part of the cost of being His follower? Why does he include them in this list? (+1 on the answer, by the way, but it's not quite a complete answer yet. ;-) –  Jon Ericson Dec 13 '11 at 20:27
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Cool. I think I would have said it the other way around: it's a warning. Jesus is telling us we're going to get some great "stuff", but it's not without cost. The rich young man went away sad because he had no idea that by keeping his riches he was losing out on so much more. But Peter didn't (yet) understand that following Jesus would mean persecution too. It's not the case that following Jesus brings automatic blessings and no sorrows. (At least not in this world.) Thanks for your thoughts! –  Jon Ericson Dec 14 '11 at 20:41

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