Pastors are reluctant to preach this because it sounds self-serving. “People, the Lord in Heaven is taking note of how you treat me. Whatever you do to me, Jesus considers it the same as though you were doing it to Him.”
He’ll not be saying that.
So, I’ll say it for him. Because it’s true.
Consider this. “A king arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding. And they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready; come to the wedding.” But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them.” (That’s Matthew 22:1-6.)
We must not miss the reaction of the king in the Lord’s story. “But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And his sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers and burned up their city” (Matthew 22:7).
However the people treated the king’s messengers, it was the same as doing it to him.
In I Samuel 8:7, the Lord said that when the people rejected Samuel, he shouldn’t take it personally (because the Lord would be doing that!). ”They have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.”
So, stop your whining, pastor. This is not about you.
Almost nothing you do, servant of God, is about you!
Consider this both a warning to those who would mistreat these God-called servants sent to His churches as well as an encouragement to those who honor them.
This must not be abused. No pastor should be trying to feather his own bed by promising the people heavenly riches if they would treat him nicely now. No messenger of the Lord should ever promise people, “If you will send me a love offering now, God will prosper you.” Those who have done such have brought great shame on themselves, on the church and on the gospel.