Jesus is Coming Back with our Rewards

Matthew 16:15-17

[Jesus] said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”

Peter answered correctly. When Jesus asked him, “Who do you say I am?” Peter correctly said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus knew that something different than just head knowledge gave Peter that revelation. “Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.” It was God the Father who gave Peter the revelation of who Christ really was.

I believe it’s the same with grace. Since grace comes through Christ, we need a revelation of grace and I believe that revelation can only come from the Father. We can study it and learn it, but why is that so many people miss this message of grace? So few people truly understand the finished work of Christ.

I think there’s a maturity that’s needed to walk out this life of grace. Someone immature trying to live true grace could be very dangerous. There would be no true understanding of consequences. The Law has very real consequences–life and death consequences. I wonder if God reveals the depth of his grace to those prepared to receive it. Maybe flesh and blood alone cannot reveal the true finished work of Christ. Maybe like Peter that day, it comes through a revelation given to us by the Father.

Matthew 16:27

For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.

Sorting through this scripture is one the reasons why I started this grace journey through the New Testament. I’ve read verses like this for years that when Jesus comes back, everyone will be “repaid” according to what he has done. Judgement day!

This can feel fearful. What about all those mistakes and sins I committed? When he “repay” me for those mess ups? That’s what is often taught from the pulpit. “Therefore, you better get right with God!” Sound familiar?

The first question is who is he speaking with? Believers or non-believers? It sure looks like he’s talking about “each person”. Will everyone will be repaid for what he has done? Will our actions be judged? Will our mistakes be reviewed by Christ?

I decided to look up the original Greek word that was translated repay here. Repay sounds negative, like a mafia boss coming to repay you. But, that’s not the word. In fact, the Greek word used here, apodidomi, is translated reward in the KJV of the Bible. This Greek word could be used as reward instead of repay. In Matthew 6:4, it’s translated reward. “And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Is it possible that when Jesus comes back to earth, that he is bringing with him our reward for what we’ve done? Are there any works involved on our part?

Looking deeper into this phrase “according to his works”, it literally means according to the deeds we practice. The Greek word here is praxis, and it means the deeds and work that we practice habitually. The deeds of our lives are our praxis. We will be rewarded according to our praxis.

It looks like there is going to be a reward for the deeds we continually practice while here on earth.

Is there a reward for the things we do while in the body? Or is Christ alone our reward?

Good question.

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