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). Much of our evangelical view of “reward in heaven” is determined by what is not going to be present. We love the “no more” song about heaven. There will be no more sorrow, no more death, no more temptation, no more trials, no more tears, etc. When you finish the list, you wonder what will be left. This is a negative approach leaving us with negative feelings. It is an escapism approach; it does not create joy in the midst of persecution. It simply encourages me to endure to the end for “joy comes in the morning.”
In the context of our passage, the reward is the culmination of the Beatitudes. All the Beatitudes are focused on Jesus. We are helpless but we are embraced by His unlimited resource. In the fullness of His presence we become the Kingdom. The Comforter, the Spirit of Jesus, envelops us in our mourning. His nature throbs within and through us resulting in meekness embracing our world. We constantly expand in the revelation of Jesus as our hunger is filled. Mercy, purity, and peace are intimately connected to seeing Him and being His son. When persecution results from the intimacy of His presence would we not rejoice? When everything contained in the opposite of who He is dislikes us, would we not dance for joy? Will this not create within us a tighter embrace? We will experience the expansion of His presence in greater ways. Is Jesus not our reward? Is Jesus enough for you? I am a Jesus pusher!!!