Many people, especially businessmen, look forward to a return on investment or ROI. i think that is a natural attitude. When we make an investment, it is not unusual that we measure it on when we will be able to recover the same. Again, there is nothing wrong with this, we want and should enjoy the profits of our investments.
During Jesus’s days of teaching the Israelites and, more specifically, His disciples, they came to the issue of ROI. You can read this in Mark 10:17-31. This discussion happened after Jesus gave some advice to a rich man on how to inherit eternal life. You want to know Jesus’s advice? He told the man to sell ALL his possessions, give the proceeds to the poor and then follow Him.
It was an investment proposition. It was something a “normal” businessman would be crazy to do. Was Jesus crazy to give such advice to this rich, young man? We all know what happened next. The man’s face fell and went away sad because He had many possessions.
It was a hard decision in Jesus’s time, its still hard today.
But did Jesus actually make such a requirement? Was Jesus angry with rich people to give them such a “challenging” requirement?
It would be foolishness to conclude to say that yes, rich people should give up their wealth and become poor just to follow Jesus, although no one should stop a rich man from divesting of his riches just to follow Jesus.
I believe that many may see this passage in the wrong light without considering the explanation at Jesus shared with His disciples. Take a look His reply to Peter:
See! When you give up riches to follow Jesus, you will have an ROI later, while you are still laive! But this ROI does not come just like that. The passage says that the ROI also comes with persecution. Jesus made it clear that inheriting eternal life is not as easy as some people think. Yes, it is easy to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and thus ensure you eternal life, that is a fact. Following Jesus after you accept Him is where the real “Christian life” begins. Remember the parable of the sower? I’m not scaring you to follow Jesus, not at all! I want you to follow Jesus not just because of the promised ROI, but because you love Him and would give up anything just to follow Him
Following Jesus is an investment AND a life. You will receive a sure return on your investment–eternal life, that Jesus promised when you stay true until the end. To some, expecting an ROI can seem shallow why you follow Jesus. I think expecting an ROI is also a person’s blessed hope when Jesus returns for His flock. By the way, as investments goes, we have to wait for it to come and Jesus makes sure that it comes at the right time.