Summary: Though we look forward to glad heavenly reunion with Christ Jesus and with God at the end of our lives, we need not wait for that time. We can experience that nearness and relationship in the here and now. That is our reward for "receiving" God’s messen
Reward - Matthew 10: 40 - 42
Intro: Crime stoppers – reward for information leading to an arrest – getting a reward for returning something that was lost. The reward is usually tied to some thing or someone. Like links in a chain.
I. William Barclay in his commentary on this passage points out a “chain of salvation” that links God + Jesus + God’s messenger + the believer.
A. Verse 40 - Jews in Jesus’ day always felt that to receive a person’s envoy was to actually receive the person.
B. The links in the “Chain of Salvation” lead us back to receiving God by receiving those God sends.
C. Example is given by Barclay of a cobbler who wanted to be a pastor but because of career and family demands couldn’t. He ask to make shoes for a young pastor at no charge. The cobbler’s reward would be knowing the pastor preached standing in his shoes.
II. Verse 41 – “receive a prophet or righteous man’s reward.”
A. A reward is defined: 1) as something given in return for service or merit, 2) money offered, 3) compensation; profit; return.
B. The Greek word used here is MISTHON (ìßóèüí) – it is a very common word – literally means a payment of wages - something earned.
C. Abraham received a reward for his faithfulness – his son lived.
III. In Hebrew the word for reward suggests the idea of wholeness of an action, the completion of the deed.
A. Easy to see in Genesis 22: 1 – 14 – the reward was a living son.
B. Jewish faith at the time of Jesus taught that you earned the gifts of God as a reward for keeping the law.
C. In Matthew, there is a subtle shift in the words of Jesus. Verse 42 – “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not LOSE his reward.” --- Implies that the reward is already given.
Conclu: With Christ Jesus, the FUTURE reward become a PRESENT POSSESSION. Receiving God’s messenger is the same as receiving God. The reward is an intimate relationship that we possess right now.