Matthew 19:27–30: 27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
Jesus’ kingdom is really an upside down kingdom. Peter didn’t quite grasp it, however, because he was still looking for his reward for having faithfully followed Jesus. When Jesus tells the disciples that they would sit on twelve thrones, he was pointing ahead to that time in the whole church would honor those who gave all for the sake of the kingdom. I’m not sure that Peter was aware of that, however. Jesus certainly was.
“The first will be last, and the last will be first.” This is the upside down kingdom which Jesus was talking about. In this life, those who follow Jesus will always be last. You will be ridiculed for your beliefs. You will be despised because you think nothing of wealth and glory. You will be hated because you love Jesus and you want to make him known. Last place for the disciple of Christ is a good place to be.
And don’t even think about earning a great place in heaven. Just be content to be there. Be content to stand before the throne and honor Jesus. Jesus has called you to be kings and priests in his kingdom. We need no more honor than that.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you have called me to serve you and to serve the people around me. Remind me that being last is the best place to be, as long as I have a place in your kingdom. To you be glory and honor and praise forever. Amen.