In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. Recently we’ve been looking at how Christ is a king. We saw that Christ’s kingship is demonstrated by his calling a people for him to rule over and by giving his people officers, laws and grace. This week I want to show that Jesus is a king because he rewards his people when they are obedient.
Leaders of nations often provide rewards for those who are obedient and serve their community well. For example there are many awards and grants of large sums of money given away every by our Australian government to those who qualify for such rewards.
Jesus also shows his kingship by rewarding people according to their obedience. Jesus promises: ‘For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done’ (Matthew 16:27). Later in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus elaborates: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me’’’’ (Matthew 25:31-40).
King Jesus does call people to himself by commanding them to trust in his death for their sins. But once they are his people King Jesus also expects them to do good works like those described in the passage above. And when they obey, they will be rewarded in the next life.
So are you going to be rewarded by King Jesus for being obedient?
Joel Radford, Preaching Elder.