And whoever has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.
Matthew 19.29 NET
There are seven items in the list of things that the disciple can and must leave for Jesus’ sake. Seven is the number that represents the totality of human interests and relationships.
The list of seven is organized in inverse parallelism, with an important element in the middle. (This is called a chiasmus.) See the correspondences:
Houses and fields correspond to each other, as do brothers and children. The women are represented by sisters and mother. Finally, as the middle element the father is emphasized.
The father was the source of family support. To be without a father left a person “without resources” (Psalm 10.14 NBV). Fatherless children were often “vulnerable and were frequently exploited” (NET Bible). From the father came also the inheritance.
All this emphasizes the giving up of the things of this life in order to throw oneself, by faith, upon God’s care.
I come to you, my Lord and God, with nothing, empty of all resources, so that I might enjoy your goodness and trust in all your promises.
Hold this thought: God’s blessings are far greater that our list of goods.