The blessing with the greatest reward – Vicar’s weekly thought 14th July

The blessing with the greatest reward…. ….is the one attached to persecution and suffering for the sake of Christ! Very strange. Does it mean that those who seriously suffer persecution have some kind of special reward tucked away in heaven that somehow makes it all worthwhile? You might think so, for the reward Jesus mentions is: ‘the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs’. But then Jesus also said that the Kingdom of Heaven is already among you. Perhaps we can experience that Kingdom among us even now, and find that the joy of that Kingdom is far more special than we thought…..? Jesus makes it plain – his Kingdom is the main thing. Rather shockingly he suggests that other things really are much less important (‘Let the dead bury their own dead’ and so on[1] ).

So, what is the cost of following Jesus to you? Perhaps it’s just that lies are told about you? (that’s the one Jesus mentions). I don’t know. We had some moving answers to the question of the cost from our Small Group leaders at a recent session – it’s OK we won’t share them – and they were different for each person. So what do you make of these questions? What is the cost to you of following Jesus in your time and place? What do you think others will say when they come to hear about the cost of going Jesus’ way? I can only say there is no other way as amazing as Jesus’ way, full of his life, his joy, his peace – in whatever circumstances. As St Peter put it, ‘In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus’ [2]

[ ]1 Luke 9.57-62 [2] 1 Peter 5.10