So the last will be first, and the first last.
Ever think about the reward ceremony that will take place in heaven? We can imagine that Peter and the other apostles will receive great and wonderful rewards. Some of the early church fathers, such as Polycarp, Ignatius, Justin Martyr, will receive wonderful crowns of distinction! Then there were the great evangelists Billy Sunday, Dwight Moody, Billy Graham; men who won thousands to Christ. And then there are the current roster of men who have reached millions through TV, Crusades, and the internet: Chuck Smith, Greg Laurie, Franklin Graham. Oh and we can’t forget the great women of the faith: Deborah, Priscilla, Lydia, Mother Teresa, Joni Eareckson Tada, Ann Graham Lotz. Just to name a few.
When we think of all of these people that have made such a mark on the world for Christ, it can be a little intimidating. We might even become apathetic about the “Bema Seat” of rewards that Paul talks about in 2 Cor 5, as we think we’ll be sitting in the five millionth row back! Talk about a nose bleed section!
But is that the way it will really be? Is that just our “human perspective” of those rewards? Might the Lord Jesus have another perspective?
Last week Peter asked about those ‘rewards’ and Jesus gave him assurance that whatever we invest now, we will receive a hundredfold return (get some of that, Wall Street!). Now as we move into chapter 20, Jesus gives us a parable that describes how those ‘rewards’ will be allocated in the Kingdom. And trust me, it’s not how we do things here on earth. I believe there will be some real surprises in heaven!
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Till the whole world hears...