Jesus is teaching the importance of humility and willingness to selflessly serve others without thought of return. At the end of this parabolic exhortation, he says this: Do this because “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” In other words, live a life of humility now and live a life of self-less service now waiting for the future day of reward. Live your whole life now not focused on a present reward.Have you ever stopped to notice the fact that your frustration in relationships may boil down to this area? Maybe you are committed to serving various people in your life, but every once in a while you simply lose it with them. You are frustrated because they simply do not seem to appreciate how you are serving them. Do you see the problem? There is a worship of present reward and response rather than a worship of God and conviction that true reward comes from the Lord in eternity. Are we willing to humbly live a life of service to others now knowing that we are called to this kind of Christ-likeness and that in an amazing display of grace God will reward us for this humble service in eternity? Humble yourself through selfless service now because “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” We must stop trying to squeeze out of the present what God has promised only for the future.
Is there a present reward for serving the Lord now or are all the rewards for believers in the future? In Micah 2:7 the LORD asks this question: “Do not My words do good To the one walking uprightly? ” Obviously, the implied answer is yes! Just read the book of Proverbs and notice all the benefits of trusting and obeying God now versus the pains and sorrows of not doing so now. But we also have to come back on the other side and notice that just because we serve the Lord now does not necessarily mean we will have smooth circumstances now. In fact, the reality is that faithful service now results in pain and suffering now. Just ask John the Baptist (see Mark 6), Stephen (see Acts 7), or most notably Jesus Himself (see the ends of every gospel!). So are there present rewards for present obedience? Yes, but along with the sin and suffering intermingled in this present age. In spite of this present reality of a measure of reward from the Lord, the focus in Scripture is the promised future reward for all believers at the culmination of their salvation. Truly we are to live a life of faith even in the area of reward for faithful service. The Christian life is a life of hope and hope which is seen is not hope (Romans 8:24). This is illustrated in the parable of the guests that Jesus gave as recorded in Luke 14:7-14: And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, 9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. 10 “But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. 11 “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” 12 And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment. 13 “But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”