“He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.” –Matthew 10:41
In Matthew 10:41, Jesus taught that he who would deal kindly or treat with hospitality a disciple, a prophet, or a righteous man, or show that he approved their character, should not fail of his proper reward.
This principle is clearly taught in the Bible. The widow of Zarephath received Elijah as a prophet, because he was a prophet; otherwise she would likely have refused to extend to him the hospitality he requested of her (1 Kings 17:9–16). And as a reward for her kindness to him, she received from God an ample supply of food in the midst of a drought. And later on, Elijah revived her son from the dead and restored him to life (1 Kings 17:16-23).
The same was true of the Shunammite woman who received Elisha into her home. For she said to her husband, “Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly. Please, let us make a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there” (2 Kings 4:8–10). For her kindness, God rewarded her by giving her a son for she was barren. And that son was also raised back to life after he got sick and died (2 Kings 4:16, 17, 34–37).
The purpose of Jesus‘ promise in Matthew 10:41 was to comfort the disciples, who may have only expected trouble and persecution while preaching the Word of God. Christ affirmed to them that there would be some believers who would accept the gospel preached by them, and receive them kindly into their houses. For these people, who would offer their own resources and lives, there will be a proper reward from God because those that receive His disciples actually receive Him personally. “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me” (Matthew 10:40).
In His service,
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