#DailyDevotion Jesus Promises Rewards So You Don’t Get Lazy
Matt. 1040Anyone who welcomes you welcomes Me; and anyone who welcomes Me welcomes Him who sent Me. 41 Anyone who welcomes a prophet because he is a prophet will get a prophet’s reward. Anyone who welcomes a righteous man because he is righteous will get a righteous man’s reward. 42Anyone who will give one of these little ones just a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”.
In spite of a lot of stuff that may discourage you in chapter ten of wanting to be a Christian, Jesus does intersperse with good news here and there. The Holy Spirit will speak for us in our defense. If we endure these things we will be saved. Despite all appearances, God does care for you. Jesus closes this discourse before sending out the twelve with these words above.
Now these words from verse 40 apply narrowly to those who proclaim the good news but they can apply more broadly to the church as a whole. In the context of sending out the twelve I think they are indeed being spoken to those who have been called into the ministry of Jesus Christ. They most directly represent Jesus as his agents of the Gospel. The promise though is for those who hear these agents of the Gospel. How will we treat them? Jesus says if we welcome them then we welcome Jesus and if we welcome Jesus we welcome the Father who sent him. The converse is also true. If we reject those who are sent by Jesus, we reject Jesus and the Father. The same things apply to how we treat the prophets.
If you welcome a righteous person because he is righteous you will get a prophet’s reward. What is that? Well you will probably have to wait for the resurrection to find out but it is something more than if you didn’t treat a prophet well. Jesus does bring the conversation to every individual in the church in verse 42. Yes even how you treat a little child because he is a disciple of Jesus there is a consequence or reward for that. If you give just a cup of water to someone, even a child, because they follow Jesus you will most certainly not lose your reward.
Now I know there is this fairness streak that runs in a lot of Christians, perhaps it is a bit of anti-Romanism that wants to say the only reward there is is salvation, eternal life. To be fair, Jesus did mention that earlier in the passage where those who endure to the end will be saved. Yet he, Paul and others also point to other differing rewards depending on what we do with the gift of faith which does indeed give us salvation. The guy who made 5 talents ruled 5 cities and the guy who gain 2 ruled two cities. In 1 Cor. 3 Paul speak of our works being judged with fire. If you build upon Christ with wood, hay and stubble (works of the flesh) you may remain but those will be gone, whereas if you build upon Christ with gems, silver, and gold (works of faith) these you will take with you into eternal life. Jesus tells us of rewards so we don’t become lazy Christians. Our Father and Jesus are busy to this day. We should do likewise and forget Christian charity just because we are all saved on the same basis.
Lord Jesus Christ, so move in us with your Holy Spirit that our faith may move us to love those you send with the gospel in material ways, show mercy and kindness to all who call on your name, and let you live your life in our lives that we may not be short of rewards when you come again in glory and that our lives may glorify your name. In your precious name we pray. Amen.