Verse 29 has to be taken within the context of verses 13-30. The verse is not about physically leaving your family or job to follow Christ. There is a spiritual application here.
13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should
put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. 14
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come
unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. 15 And he laid his
hands on them, and departed thence.
In verse 13, Jesus gives his disciples an object lesson that will tie directly to the story of the rich young ruler starting in verse 16. In verse 14, Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven is like little children coming to the Lord. The spiritual application here is that children are completely dependent on their parents for their life; a child’s works have no impact at all on sustaining their life. A child has no rights to anything; they have not produced anything, they don’t own anything and have no claim to anything. This is a metaphor for life under the grace of God. Jesus is stating in order to get into heaven, you must be like these children with no claim to any of their own works of holiness or self righteousness; they must accept the free gift of love from their Father no claim to anything on their own.
16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good
thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
Verse 16 starts the story of the rich young ruler which is directly connected to verses 13-14, for the young man here (don’t know “how” young he is) asks how to get into heaven. I hope you can see the connection between the little children coming to Jesus and the question the rich young ruler asks, ie, “how can I come to you also” (even though he doesn’t realize to whom he’s speaking).
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good
but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the
commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do
no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou
shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother:
and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 20 The young man saith
unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I
In these verses, the young man defends himself (justifies himself) by insisting that he has kept the law flawlessly all his life. Again, he is sighting his own works as worthy to get himself into heaven.
21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou
hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven:
and come and follow me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying,
he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
In verse 21, Jesus goes directly the heart of this young man’s issue, covetousness. Jesus trumps the young man’s resume of flawless law keeping and tells him to sell all that he has and give it to the poor. By doing this, Jesus is illustrating the truth of what he preached at the Sermon on the Mount; where he demonstrated it is impossible for anyone to get into heaven by their own works. Jesus used the same format throughout that sermon where he said “you have heard it said” (or what the commandment stated) “but I tell you” (or what is really needed). Jesus put keeping the law out of reach of any human.
23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a
rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I
say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a
needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When
his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then
can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men
this is impossible; (PLEASE NOTE) but with God all things are
In keeping with the spiritual nature of what Christ is teaching, it is impossible for any man to get into heaven on their own or by their own effort. That is what the metaphor of the “rich man” represents. Obviously, the NT covenant of grace would not eliminate a rich man purely by being rich since the way to heaven is by God’s grace and mercy alone.
27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken
all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? 28 And Jesus
said unto them, 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. 29 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. 30 But many that are first shall be last;
and the last shall be first.
Then good old Peter demonstrates that he also cannot understand the spiritual application and asks his question in verse 27 based on a physical understanding. Jesus just keeps on the same spiritual theme and says that anyone who has “followed me in the regeneration” (ie, spiritually reborn) will be blessed beyond measure. So, verse 29 is just the logical conclusion to Christ’s spiritual application; ie, anyone that has lost anything along the way in following Christ by grace and faith will be rewarded exponentially above what we could ask or think, for after all our reward is eternal life.
All verses KJV.