“And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple,
truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”
When God set to accomplish His mission on earth, it did not come through big moments or extraordinary spiritual giants. His own Son was born in a feeding trough in the lowly town of Bethlehem. His disciples were anything but extraordinary. You could not detect the ones who would change the world or their Master in the Jerusalem marketplace. In the day and age where everyone needs a spotlight and a microphone to be heard, heaven records the faithful witness of those who have embraced obscurity and whose labor have proved to be the warp and woof of the kingdom of Christ throughout generations. Whether it is our facebook wall or twitter stream or church bulletin or Christian magazine, we are looking for the “highlight” reel, or the “best of” or “top ten” list of all things Christian. I am not entirely opposed to such efforts to honor those who are greatly used of God, but I wonder how many of us would recognize a disciple of Jesus who gives a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name? How does that register in our books? How much weight to do we give in our scales? Heaven knows, and God rewards, and that by default is a big deal.
When we look at the New Testament, we are tempted to think the kingdom of God advanced merely through larger-than-life personalities like Paul, Peter, or John. But have you ever wondered why, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostle Paul gives us a glimpse into his missional administration? How often do we skip the end of his letters when he is giving greetings or making requests or commending some of the least known disciples recorded in Scripture? I mean, if you are going to memorize Scripture, I don’t know of anyone who make such texts a priority to put to memory.
And yet, I think there is something very valuable to us in these Holy Spirit inspired verses in the Bible. In the same way we miss the treasures of genealogies in Scripture, I am afraid we have yet to appraise the insider communication of Paul with his companions and co-laborers. As our church began the Fall semester of teaching and serving, our congregation affirmed the teachers and servants by name who serve our church and community in whatever capacity that might be. In light of that, I took some time to meditate on these texts of the apostle Paul and was greatly blessed by it. One of my fellow elders suggested this would be a good blog series, so I’m going to take some time to mention on my blog the men and women heaven knows. I hope it will be an encouragement to all who labor in the name of Jesus an many never be recognition on earth. And perhaps the mere mentioning of such “little people” in the kingdom of God will be a gentle rebuke and correction when worldly thinking infects our view of the kingdom of God, that somehow the least are not the ones who are great. Heaven’s highlight reel will be unlike those on earth, and such knowledge would serve us well while we seek to honor God and serve His purposes in our generation.