. . . in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. - 2 Timothy 4:8
“Walking Beans” is a term Iowa farm kids my age would well remember. Standing at one end of half-mile long, weedy bean rows and knowing you had to pull all the weeds in your assigned rows was sometimes daunting. Bean rows straddling cornfields, where corn encroached into the neighboring bean rows, were the “rough rows to hoe.”
Jesus called His twelve disciples and empowered them to fulfill an assignment He had given them. Their names are listed in Matthew 10:2-4. Their life assignment meant they would not be above their teacher but would become like their teacher (10:25) and assigned “rough rows.”
Having given them their assignment, Jesus underscored just how tough the “rows” ahead of them would be. They would become financially dependent upon those they served (10:9-10), they would be living out of a “suitcase” (10:11-13), some they sought to help would reject them (10:14), they would be surrounded by enemies (10:16), they would need to pursue personal integrity and wisdom in the midst of an unholy world (10:16), they would be physically tortured (10:17), they would be betrayed even by family members (10:21), they would be hated by all (10:22), they would be persecuted (10:23). For some, life may be easy, but not for them. Jesus’ followers would be assigned the “rough rows.”
But these were men who came to love God’s appearing. They came to believe life’s challenges were “momentary light afflictions” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18), and one day there would be an “eternal weight of glory,” a reward unsurpassed. Suffering loss will follow those following Jesus. Never forget, however, the promised reward.
One-Year Bible Reading