Jesus was trying to inculcate a right understanding of reward in the people. Rather than look up to man for reward, he wanted them to look up to God, who repays on a grand scale in what is called the resurrection of the just. With that kind of focus, we will really live based on eternal rather than temporary consideration. Our primary influence becomes heavenly rather than pecuniary.
The bible says that he who comes to God must know that he is a rewarder (Hebrews 11:6). But we limit the reward to the earth, this time and age, and therefore become prone to disappointment, as we fight for human recognition, and compare ourselves with others, as we give with a short sighted approach, keeping our lives and not letting all go for the cause of Christ.
Therefore our impact is limited, because our understanding of reward is limited. Jesus said if anyone will come after him, he was deny himself, carry his cross (Luke 9:23).
But there is no carrying the cross without the understanding that there is a resurrection after. That is why Paul said that if only in the world we have benefit, then we are of all men most miserable (1Corinthians 15:19).
We can only give the level of denial we need as disciples of Jesus, when we fix our gaze on the eternal reward.
That is following the example of Jesus who for the joy set before him, the eternal joy of his reward, endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2), sacrificed himself as the lamb of God (John 1:29), did good to us, even if it meant going through harm himself.
And he was amply repaid. The bible says that he sees the result of the travail of his soul and he rejoiced (Isaiah 53:11).
- My Assurance is Being “In Christ Jesus-2 – Gospel Bondservant (gospelbondservant.com)
- Good Friday sermon on Matthew 27:32-54 | Watching Jesus die – Part 3 (virtualpreacher.org)
- WORD OF THE DAY – Thursday 25 August 2016 (fellowshiproom.org)
- Word and Deed (4110fearnot.wordpress.com)
- Word This Week (catholicherald.co.uk)