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7. The Wages of Those Who are Persecuted for Christ’s Sake
(Matthew 19:27-30)
27Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?”28So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.30But many who are first will be last, and the last first. (Matthew4:20-22, Mark10:28-31, Luke18:28-30,1Corinthians6:2, Revelation3:21)

Man exhausts himself earning wages. He rarely thinks of serving others voluntary. Yet those that believe in Christ do not seek first wages from God for their ministries but serve Him with thankfulness and praise, because He has freely given them eternal salvation. God has already given Himself to us and blessed us before we realized it. We only have to serve Him, thank Him, and commit ourselves to Him, praising His glorious grace. We are all gifted and showered with the riches of his grace. The Lord said to Abram, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward” (Genesis 15:1).
Peter took the opportunity to ask what they should receive from following Jesus. The apostles, unlike the rich, young man, had left all to follow him. Alas! It was but a poor “all” that they had forsaken. One of them had indeed left his position in the customhouse, but Peter and most of them had only left their boats and nets, and the tools of their fishing trade. Yet observe here how Peter speaks of it, as it had been some essential goods; “See, we have left all.”
We too are in danger of overestimating our services and sufferings, our expenses and losses, for Christ, and to think we have made Him our debtor. Christ does not rebuke the apostles this time. Though it was but little that they had left, it was all they had, like the widow’s two mites, and was as dear to them as if it had been more. Therefore Christ took it kindly that they left everything to follow him, for he acknowledges what a man has.
He who follows Christ and is prepared to leave all for His sake and suffer for Him, bearing his cross out of love for Him, shall partake of the regeneration of the oncoming kingdom of God. Then the glory of spiritual birth appears. Christ will be sitting on the throne of His glory surrounded by His twelve disciples that were rejected by their nation. They are those that shall participate in judging the twelve tribes with their testimony and spiritual experiences. Christ will take His uneducated, simple beloved ones as partners in His wisdom and judgment because they were prepared to completely submit to Him.
The loss of possessions is supposed to be for Christ’s sake; if not, He will not recompense them. Many leave brothers, wives, and children thoughtlessly, “like a bird that wanders from its nest” (Proverbs 27:8). That is sinful desertion. But if we leave them for Christ’s sake, it is not because we cannot care for them but because we don’t want to neglect the service God has for us to do. Our desire is to look to Jesus and do His will and see His glory. This is what shall be recompensed. It is not the suffering, but the aim, that makes both the martyr and the witness for Christ.
The spiritual reward is a gift by way of grace. We have no right to come to God seeking wages because we are all sinners and deserve judgment. We have no right to judge others, unless we deny ourselves under the guidance of the Holy Spirit who overcomes our bodily desires, reproaches us for our sins, and comforts us with a living faith.
This comforting Spirit brings us to our examination in front of the eternal Judge, and keeps us close to him, that we will not flee from the rays of the holiness of His glory, but fall on our knees before him, murmuring “I am unworthy to be your son or your daughter. Don’t chase me away, but allow me to serve you eternally.” Then He will embrace us as His children and accept us into His holy family (Luke 15:21-24). Also the fellowship of the believers on earth is by His grace, because love appears a sacrifice for those who are persecuted for Christ’s righteousness. Jesus creates for them a new home and a spiritual family. All Christians are brothers and the Holy Spirit unifies them in spite of their language and social differences. Help those that are in distress for Christ’s sake, those that hold by faith to the will of God, and those that serve the distressed and persecuted as if they were serving their Lord in person.
Christ showed His disciples that believers do not seek material wages or rewards for their services. Christ calls everyone to His service, and gives eternal life to all that answer His call. What is eternal life? It is the divine life. The Holy One will give you His Holy Spirit as His life if you surrender to him your soul and mind and body for His service.

Heavenly Father, please forgive us our craving after special rewards, for You have offered us Your Son, Your Spirit, and Yourself. Teach us to love You, thank You, offer ourselves to You, and share the goods You have entrusted to us with all those that are persecuted for Your name’s sake. Keep us in Your grace that we may participate in the great regeneration which will appear upon Your soon return.
What is the promise specified to Jesus’ disciples?