I am a Jesus pusher!!! “Rejoice and be exceedingly; glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:12). One reason for rejoicing is THE INDICATED REWARD that is clearly in the Greek text. There is an article placed before the Greek word “misthos, “translated reward. This is not just “any” reward or “a” reward: it is “the” reward! This ties the reward directly to the experience of persecution. If Jesus said there would be a specific reward for those who suffer with Him, then the reward is for every Christian. The impact of Jesus’ statement is that every Christian will experience a consistency of persecution.
The picture of the reward in heaven taught throughout my days of growing up in the church seems to be generally accepted among evangelical Christians. It consists of a mansion, streets of gold, and servant angels. Everyone in heaven will experience these blessings; however, they are greatly improved or diminished determined by the material we provide for their production. If you desire a brick mansion you will need to render more service than for a vinyl sided mansion. The difficulty with this concept is the lack of biblical backing. This is a focus on the physical rewards of a materialistic mindset. This thought views comfort from the satisfaction of the physical needs, which is the opposite of rejoicing in the upset of your physical comfort. It places the joy in persecution in an endurance mode so you can get eternal comfort in heaven. In the context of our passage, the reward is the culmination of the Beatitudes. All the Beatitudes are focused on Jesus. Is Jesus really enough for you? I am a Jesus pusher!!!