“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.” (Matthew 40:42)
Here Jesus shares that He is aware of how His followers will be treated by the world. If the world, or non-believers, in the world, treat His followers with respect and care, then these persons will receive a blessing. Jesus honors the good done to His followers because He knows they live in a fallen and sinful world that will often persecute them. To protect and care for a Christian is something the world needs to know will bring good to themselves. To mock Jesus’ followers and mistreat them will bring judgment. A nation that ridicules and turns against Jesus will fall on sad times.
God cares for His children who trust their lives to Jesus. He will bring many unbelievers to respect and care for them in this world. He will do this because He knows life here will be difficult for those who follow Jesus. As He was persecuted so will His followers be. But God will direct unbelievers to bring aid and care to the followers of Jesus. Even pagan nations can receive God’s blessing as they bless Christians in their midst. They shall be rewarded. If they, however, persecute Christians they invite God’s judgment.
Heavenly Father, it is comforting to know that in this sinful world You watch out for those of us who follow Jesus. Even unbelievers can receive a blessing if they honor You and Your Son by honoring us who follow Him. Here again is just another way You love and care for Your world. And we would ask that these caring unbelievers would become believers in Your Son. Thank You Lord! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.