Questions and Answers
Matthew 10:41-42 (NASB) 41“He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42“And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” (Jesus’ Words in red)
If you welcome a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will receive the same reward a prophet gets. And if you welcome good and godly people because of their godliness, you will be given a reward like theirs. And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded. What is a prophet’s reward?
I believe that this passage is saying that those who faithfully received these workers were promised rewards. To receive a prophet and his message was tantamount to receiving our Lord, the Messiah Jesus. The apostles in this passage were called prophets for they were recipients and communicators of God’s message. Even a “cup of cold water” to one of these “little ones” would be known by the One who keeps accounts (Our Father in Heaven).
As we share our faith, not everyone will reject our witness. There are some who will welcome us and receive a blessing. We’ve got to remember that we are the ambassadors of the King! Our King will see to it that they are rewarded for what they do. When people receive us, they welcome the King; for we’re His representatives.
I don’t know where or if it’s stated in Scripture what a prophet’s reward is, but read this next passage for an example of what happens when people mistreat the envoys of the King.
2 Samuel 10:1-19 (NASB) 1Now it happened afterwards that the king of the Ammonites died, and Hanun his son became king in his place. 2Then David said, “I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent some of his servants to console him concerning his father. But when David’s servants came to the land of the Ammonites, 3the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun their lord, “Do you think that David is honoring your father because he has sent consolers to you? Has David not sent his servants to you in order to search the city, to spy it out and overthrow it?” 4So Hanun took David’s servants and shaved off half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle as far as their hips, and sent them away. 5When they told it to David, he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly humiliated. And the king said, “Stay at Jericho until your beards grow, and then return.” 6Now when the sons of Ammon saw that they had become odious to David, the sons of Ammon sent and hired the Arameans of Beth-rehob and the Arameans of Zobah, 20,000 foot soldiers, and the king of Maacah with 1,000 men, and the men of Tob with 12,000 men. 7When David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army, the mighty men. 8The sons of Ammon came out and drew up in battle array at the entrance of the city, while the Arameans of Zobah and of Rehob and the men of Tob and Maacah were by themselves in the field. 9Now when Joab saw that the battle was set against him in front and in the rear, he selected from all the choice men of Israel, and arrayed them against the Arameans. 10But the remainder of the people he placed in the hand of Abishai his brother, and he arrayed them against the sons of Ammon. 11He said, “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you shall help me, but if the sons of Ammon are too strong for you, then I will come to help you. 12“Be strong, and let us show ourselves courageous for the sake of our people and for the cities of our God; and may the LORD do what is good in His sight.” 13So Joab and the people who were with him drew near to the battle against the Arameans, and they fled before him. 14When the sons of Ammon saw that the Arameans fled, they also fled before Abishai and entered the city. Then Joab returned from fighting against the sons of Ammon and came to Jerusalem. 15When the Arameans saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they gathered themselves together. 16And Hadadezer sent and brought out the Arameans who were beyond the £River, and they came to Helam; and Shobach the commander of the army of Hadadezer led them. 17Now when it was told David, he gathered all Israel together and crossed the Jordan, and came to Helam. And the Arameans arrayed themselves to meet David and fought against him. 18But the Arameans fled before Israel, and David killed 700 charioteers of the Arameans and 40,000 horsemen and struck down Shobach the commander of their army, and he died there. 19When all the kings, servants of Hadadezer, saw that they were defeated by Israel, they made peace with Israel and served them. So the Arameans feared to help the sons of Ammon anymore.
The blessing though isn’t automatic. It depends on the attitude of the host. If he receives the ambassador as a prophet (a spokesman from God) then he receives one reward; if he receives him as a righteous man, there is another type of reward. But even a cup of cold water, given in the right spirit, brings its own reward.
I believe what the Scriptures teach, that rewards for the believer will be given out at the “Bema,” the Judgment Seat of Christ, which is the first order of business following the Rapture.