"I tell you the truth", Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life." (Luke 18:29-30)
On their own, they seem to be referring to those who either;
- have left kith and kin to do gospel ministry somewhere else
- have had no other choice upon becoming christian but to leave kith and kin (as might some converts from Islam).
However, Jesus seems to be expanding on his answer to the ruler;
"You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have. and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (verse 22)
So it is not about "go"-ing somewhere else for the sake of the gospel but about "come"-ing and following Jesus. And then when we consider the ruler's question;
"what must I do to inherit eternal life? (verse 18)"we realise that Jesus is addressing the question of how we inherit eternal life, of how we enter the kingdom of God, of how we are justified before God (see also 18:8; 14-15 & 17). It is not just about those who have particularly gifts of service that they are called to leave everything nor just about those who have no choice but to leave everything. It is about everyone who would enter the kingdom of God.
Which leaves me with this question. What on earth does it mean for everyone to leave everything for the sake of the kingdom?