Thursday, May 26, 2011

Matthew 10:40-42


40 ``He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 ``He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. 42 ``And whoever, in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.''

In this fresh and direct passage regarding being a disciple of Jesus and what it is going to cost, Jesus turns the subject toward the great reward that will come to those who receive or welcome these disciples into their lives and homes. He uses "receives" (welcomes) 8 times and speaks of "reward" 3 times.

"When Jesus said this, he was using a way of speaking which the Jews regularly used. The Jew always felt that to receive a person's envoy or messenger was the same as to receive the person himself. To pay respect to an ambassador was the same as to pay respect to the king who had sent him. To welcome with love the messenger of a friend was the same as to welcome the friend himself. The Jew always felt that to honor a person's representative was the same as to honor the person whose representative he was. This was particularly so in regard to wise men and to those who taught God's truth.

NOTE that all 4 players in salvation are present in this scenario: 1-There is God out of whose love the whole process of salvation began. 2-There is Jesus who brought the message to men. 3-There is the human messenger-the prophet who speaks, the good (righteous) man who is an example & the disciple who is the learner-who passes it on. 4-There is the believer who welcomes God's message and messengers and therefore find life for their souls.

NOTE: FIRST-We cannot all be prophets, but the one who gives God's messenger the simple gift of hospitality will receive the same reward as the prophet he blesses! SECOND-We cannot all be shining examples of goodness and righteousness, but the one who helps a good man to be good receives a good man's reward! THIRD-We cannot all teach the child or learner (young believer), but we can all serve the child.

NOTE it is the simplest of things that will be rewarded with great reward! To simply give a cup of cold water only to a little one is noticed and rewarded by God!

Although it is often downplayed, there are many who give of their time, service or money to keep a ministry going or keep a prophet, a teacher, a righteous man or keep a young one in the faith who is learning toward continuing this process. Jesus is saying that within the kingdom there are many roles to play and they will not go unnoticed, but will be specifically and specially rewarded. You will be rewarded with the same reward by which you received the messengers of Jesus!