24 February 2019
Today’s reading is not an epiphany about Jesus, but about Jesus telling the disciples how to live their lives. He calls them to be different to the rest of humanity. Some would say he calls them to be a human door mat.
It is not for nothing though. Jesus says, ‘Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High,…’ What sort of reward? Gold, fame,? We will also be God’s children. Aren’t we already? We are the image of God.
The reward I believe is spiritual. We may not gain anything material for our obedience, but we will see life and people in a special way. We may think living this way benefits others, but it also benefits us, in fact it will not truly benefit others until we see the blessing for us.
As for being the children of God, I believe Jesus means that we will be a truer reflection of the Father. Being the image of God does not mean we are a true reflection. It is the attributes of God that make us a true reflection.
I feel like verses 37 and 38 are like a post script. I think it is the base reason for doing things God’s way. If we cannot live God’s way for the deeper blessing, then we act in an appropriate way because we don’t want to be treated in a bad way, or that through acting well, we may receive it back.
At the base level we live God’s way because it is right, but in the deeper level we do it because it meets a far greater need in us. What the passage does not say is that as we live this way, we will be the epiphany of God to others.