Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 20
February 24, 2008
Lincolnton, N.C.

<418> Thesis: Selfishness is not measured by what one obtains for himself by his actions, but whether those actions are unjust and destructive to others. Introduction: In our studies of Jesus' teaching about the Kingdom of God we have seen that there are certain fundamental differences between God's Kingdom and the kingdoms of this world. This perception is driven by the claims of Jesus that there are certain realities that lead to "blessedness" and certain opposite realities that lead to "woefulness". Within the context of of Jesus' presentation of these opposites, He declared that those who participate in the principles of the Kingdom of God should greatly rejoice "...for, behold, your reward is great in heaven...". In the text before us this morning we, again, run into Jesus' declaration that "...your reward shall be great...". Since we have used the "sun" and "black holes" as a fundamental illustration of the difference between God and His enemies, the question of "reward" begins to loom large for one reason: it seems to be the essence of evil to seek one's own benefit. If that is true, how can Jesus, with integrity, use "great reward" as a proper motivation for behavior. Does not "reward" automatically turn one "inward" so that "self" becomes the major issue? How can one be selflessly "loving" and yet seek "a great reward"? In an attempt to answer this question, we are going to look at what Jesus said in this context of "a great reward" and why He used the concept to motivate His disciples in their actions.