“You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” Luke xiv.14
Jesus assured his disciples about the glorious life they would enjoy beyond the grave. He affirmed the Pharisaic belief in resurrection. In fact He claimed to be the resurrection and life. Our faith in the Lord Jesus and his promise of eternal life should shape our behaviour during our earthly life.
A Christian who looks forward to participating in the coming age should remember that our life’s accounts are not settled on earth before we die. That final settling of accounts happens in the hereafter when God examines our earthly life. Those who are unaware of this principle might complain that God did not reward them for all their hard work, generosity and sacrifice. Or, while evaluating the lives of other Christians who died in poverty, suffering and relative obscurity, we might be tempted to think that those men and women lacked God’s favour. Such godly people poured out their lives for many without receiving anything in return either from God or man. But after they die, when God examines their life’s records, He will reward them richly with eternal treasures.
Notice the catch in Jesus’ teaching regarding rewards: Heaven will reward a person only if he or she hasn’t been rewarded or repaid on earth for their good work. In Jesus’ words:
“When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke xiv.12-14)
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High Luke vi.35
There are thousands of Christians who are not compensated adequately for their time, skills, or contributions. Their efforts go unnoticed. No one might remember to even thank them. Over time, they might grow weary and secretly nurse a grudge against God or the Church or their employers. Worse still, they might vocalise their complaints against the apparent injustice meted out to them.
We need to constantly remind ourselves of our heavenly destination and Jesus’ promises about eternal rewards. There are people who won’t repay while there are some cannot repay us. Let us rejoice when people, including enemies, won’t repay a debt or return a favour. There is a reward in heaven for us. Similarly, let’s look forward to doing good to people who cannot repay us. Our reward will be great in heaven.