‘You will be repaid’

And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. (Luke 14:14, NRSV)

I have nearly taken for granted the notion that Christians should not be motivated by or interested in rewards. If you do something because God will reward you, the thinking goes, then you are not doing it for the right motives. But if that is the case, why does Jesus spend so much time dangling future rewards in front of the disciples and the crowds?

 

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6 thoughts on “‘You will be repaid’

  1. “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the kingdom of God, who will not get back very much more…” But the one he said this to, Peter, lost his life for the gospel. So perhaps we dare not try to calculate our rewards…

  2. One of my sons came to my crying the other night deeply concerned that the only reason he loved Jesus was so that he could go to heaven and he felt that such a motivation might disqualify him. I tried my best to reassure him that God knows his heart, and that such a motivation actually brings God glory because Jesus promised he was going away to prepare us a place to be with him. It shows we trust Jesus at his word.

    I’ve given this topic much thought over the years, John, and believe three of the reasons we are hesitant to discuss rewards include 1) we think far too highly of ourselves in that we assume we are good enough to have pure motives for doing good, and we’ve deemed “pure motives” to be those that do not expect any reward 2) being in America we are too comfortable, and the concept of eternity is lost on us because we are enjoying ourselves too much today and 3) if we talk about the rewards of heaven we may need to talk about hell, too.

    Scripture levels all these excuses, though. I’ve been awestruck by the number of times I see an “eternal perspective” in it’s pages and a desire to finish the race well, to conquer, so as to receive an eternal reward from our King. It’s even said of Jesus himself that he was able to endure the shame of the cross because he knew the joy that was set before him (Heb. 12) and I marvel that the motivation named for his most radical service, washing the disciples feet, was that he “knew that all power had been given him by the Father, and that he had come from God and was returning to God, so he got up from his meal and….” (John 13).

    We talk so little of heaven (or hell) these days that it’s no wonder we don’t carry within us the excitement in times of trials that the Scriptures suggest we ought.

    1. I’m not so sure it’s that easy. That line of reasoning can’t be said for the rich young ruler, who might have bit had Jesus just asked for 10%.

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