“…Peter answered him, ‘We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?…” (Matthew 19:16)
One of the young retreat participants boldly shared during the closing plenary session in one of the retreats I was giving, “I will follow Jesus because I know he will let me pass the nursing board exams next month.”
Her sharing was met with a thunderous applause from her fellow participants. Pats on the back. Hugs. Cheers. Her sharing was indeed very inspiring. Except for one thing: It was very dangerous.
You see, many people follow Jesus today thinking that when they do, Jesus will automatically answer their deepest prayers and reward their finest efforts. He will bring physical healing to them. Or make their business prosper. Or give them that promotion. Or let them pass that exams. Oftentimes, he does. But what if he won’t? Do we stop following Jesus then? Do we give up on him just like that? Do we waiver in our faith and try to take matters into our own hands?
In the gospel today, Peter’s question may have been ours when he said:
“…’We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?…” (Matthew 19:16)
In modern day lingo, it was as if Peter was asking: What’s in it for us?
Don’t we sometimes fall into the same trap? We pray more because we want our prayers answered not so much because of Him who answers our prayers. We sometimes substitute the gift for the giver, the blessing for the bless-er.
Let me ask you this: What if the only reward for following Jesus is Jesus alone. Not passing the board exams. Not a bigger bank account. Not a solution to your debts. But more of Jesus in your life. Greater peace. Greater joy. Greater love.
Won’t Jesus be enough?
Today, I confronted myself with that question. Here I am a missionary, spending most of my time preaching God’s word to different companies, schools, prayer groups and organizations. I gave up substantially my being a lawyer to spend more time bringing people closer to God. My human tendency is to ask what Peter asked: What’s in it for me?
Prosperity? Success? Riches? Surely, God has provided well for me the past three years. And His promises of a brighter future inspires me to serve Him more. But the life-changing question lingers: What if he won’t? Will I still serve Him? Will I still follow Him?
Won’t Jesus as reward be enough for me?
Today, I pray for the grace, not only to say with my lips, but also believe in my heart that Jesus is and will always be enough.
How about you? Isn’t Jesus enough?
He should be. With Him, we can’t ask for more!