Great Risk, Great Reward

Great Risk, Great Reward

Matthew 5:10-16

Dr. Jim Denison

Today’s Bible study has but one point: Jesus rewards most fully those who pay a price to follow him. The greater the cost, the risk, the sacrifice, the greater the life, the joy, the peace, the reward. We progress in proportion to the fare we are prepared to pay (William Barclay). The more it costs us to follow Jesus, the more he rewards us, now and in eternity.

Let’s explore that thesis, and see if it applies to our lives today.

Take a risk for Jesus (vs. 10-12)

Verse 10 is literally translated, “Blessed are the ones who have been and are now being persecuted for the sake of righteousness.” He knew his disciples would pay a price to follow him. And they did.

They were “insulted” (v. 11), subjected to slander, gossip, and ridicule. Their enemies would “falsely say all kinds of evil” against them.

Jesus warned them, “When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another” (Matthew 10:23).

They were thrown to the lions, burned at the stake, wrapped in pitch and set alight, sewn in the skins of wild animals and thrown to hunting dogs, tortured on the rack, burned with molten lead and hot tongs. Part of their bodies were cut off and burned before their eyes, hands and feet scorched, children and families executed while they watched. That’s what it cost many of them to follow Jesus.