When I first began studying the Bible seriously one of the things which stuck out to me most was how interconnected the Scriptures were. You cannot read through any book of the Bible without stumbling across a dozen spider webs which help build and layer the truth it’s trying to deliver.
Familiarity is the greatest help and the greatest hindrance to making these connections in Scripture. You have to know what else the Bible says about a topic in order to tie it together. But there is a dry familiarity that can blind you to the ridiculousness of how amazing these relations can be.
All I want to do is for you to appreciate a verse in Heb 2 an ounce more today than you did yesterday. And in turn I want you to value Christ an ounce more. Because if you can value Christ an ounce more a day – those ounces become pounds – those pounds stack up – and you will be constantly under the weight of his glory – and at the very least that should make you an extraordinary prayer warrior.
Lets begin in Matt 10:40, Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.
41 The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.
Two things are happening here. First there is a reception happening – and the way its being discussed shows that the one receiving is likely less than the one being received. Simply there is an upgrade in award. This is what you are and this is your reward, but by reception – by this kingdom logic – what has been earned by another, by your reception of that greater person, you receive a reward equal to theirs.
Second – you must accept that person for what they are. Now there are a lot of ways you can take this but lets keep it simple like the verse does. We accept, welcome, receive the prophet “because he is a prophet” and also for the righteous man – we receive him “because he is a righteous man.” We understand and believe who they are, we receive them as such, and in turn we get a reward – not almost as good as theirs – but literally on the same level though we have not in any way earned it.
Last week at my church we celebrated our Minister of Children who has served in the same church for 36 years. We had a big evening where past pastors and student came up to thank her for her faithfulness and the work God has done through her. About 400 people showed up, there was plenty of food, music – it was a big deal. For illustration, lets say she hit some hard financial times and you let her move into your guest room. You welcome her, you receive her – why – because she is a faithful servant of Christ. And then the next Saturday evening you go to church you see a big sign with your name on it, and 400 people show up and we have food and music in your honor. You would be stunned, like what’s going on – I don’t deserve this. That’s how strange this verse is supposed to sound to you – like out of nowhere you get this amazing reward simply by your reception of the one who has earned it. Not you – they – but its also your reward now by this logic.
Carry this logic over to John 1:9
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
Do you see how incredible this is! By the same kingdom logic as we receive Christ – who is greater than us – and as we believe he is indeed who he says he is – the Christ, the true light – we attain for ourselves the reward due him – that is “the right to become children of God.” He was already God, who did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. And by his entering of our world, he put on flesh, that he might be made perfect in suffering, and attain a reward. Why? Because he needed a reward? No he was and is God. Jesus did not live that he might earn a reward, he lived that we might receive what was rightfully his; that we might have an opportunity to receive him.
A prophet walks in his call by God. A righteous man rests knowing that his righteousness is not his own but a gift from God. Jesus reigns not as one who has earned sonship from God but who sacrificed that we may receive it from God.
Our reception of him and nothing else places his reward in our hands – sonship.
Both the one who makes people holy
And those who are made holy
Are of the same family.
So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.
We are his by no other claim than the fact that he is ours.