Jesus said to them, “I assure you that anyone who has left house, husband, wife, brothers, sisters, parents, or children because of God’s kingdom will receive many times more in this age and eternal life in the coming age.”
-Mark 10:29-31, Luke 18:29-30
Jesus talks about people who have left many things and relationships, because of him.
I imagine there are and have been many people who have become followers of Jesus and it was not welcomed by their families. People might get disinherited, divorced, or cut off perhaps, from their family relationships, family inheritances, or position in the family business.
Jesus is talking about the cost and compensation of discipleship.
Whatever you had to leave, Jesus says, you will receive back one hundred times. Jesus is saying, "now in this life", or "in this age". It would be easy to assume that Jesus was saying, "great is your reward in heaven for the things you forsook or lost on earth", but that's not what Jesus said.
Jesus did say that there is treasure in heaven for good works done on earth, but disciples who suffer loss will be paid back on earth.
Jesus says that if you have to leave your house, your family, or your fields, farms, or lands; that you will be compensated many times over for your losses in this life.
You will also get harassment, persecutions, or trouble along with your compensation.
The over and above will flow to you, but persecutions will come at you too, with it. It's part and parcel. It's like when you drive a fast looking car, you will be challenged by unsanctified drivers.
Because of Jesus and because of the good news you may suffer loss and be given back 100 times.
Who are these people who will receive many times over for their losses? Is the average christian, you or me, one of them? Jesus says that if you have to leave your house, or your family relationships, or your farm (your business or career), because of him and the good news (the gospel), that you will be paid back in an amount beyond imagining.
What does 100 times mean?
I believe that the "hundred times" or "many times more" means "beyond imagining". I can imagine someone who lost their house for Jesus, for the gospel, because of God's call on their life, or because they became a disciple and left all to follow; I can imagine that person saying that their housing is now a hundred times better. They might have a better situation in many different ways or world wide hospitality.
It's not about getting rich but about abundance.
It's easy to imagine, if you have been a christian for any time, that if you leave family, you will get lots of new family in the church. If you leave husband or wife, you will not get 100 new husbands or wives. If you lose your house, for Jesus, for the gospel; Jesus words here do not promise you 100 houses. What Jesus promises is that he will make it up to you a hundred times over. That might mean many different things.
Have you left farm, lands, or businesses to be a disciple? Have you left position, career, or opportunity for Jesus? You will receive compensation.
As a disciple, what is Jesus calling you to and away from?
Do these sayings of Jesus say that we are to leave everything when we follow him, including our families? No. Jesus is responding to the question about people who have left relationships or lost things because of him. God's specific call to you may cause loss. You may have to leave or others may leave you or you might miss job opportunities because you followed Jesus specific call to you.
Many who are last will be first.
If you feel the loss but don't see the hundredfold, remember Jesus' words of encouragement, "but many who are first will be last. And many who are last will be first.”
If you have suffered loss, because of him, Jesus says that he will make it up to you, in this earthly life a hundred times over. Here are some verses that illustrate this:
But this is precisely what is written: God has prepared things for those who love him that no eye has seen, or ear has heard, or that haven’t crossed the mind of any human being.
-1 Corinthians 2:9 (quoting Isaiah 64:4)
Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us.