“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. Revelation 22:12
With the admonition and warning of the previous verse stated, Jesus again says, “And behold, I am coming quickly.” It is a repeat of the words of verse 22:7. As noted then, this does not necessarily signify “soon,” but rather when He comes, it will be suddenly. It is a note for those who hear to be prepared. With that understood, He next says, “and My reward iswith me.”
This is noted as a prerogative of the Lord (YHVH) in the book of Isaiah when speaking of exactly this thought that is again being described now in Revelation, and yet it is Jesus who makes the statement –
“Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, And His arm shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him.” Isaiah 40:10
“Indeed the Lord has proclaimed To the end of the world: “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Surely your salvation is coming; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him.” Isaiah 62:11
This then is an absolute confirmation that the Lord of the Old Testament is revealed in Jesus of the New. The two are One and the same. The reward is that which He alone possesses for those just described in the previous verse. Depending on which category they fall into, there will be life or death. There will be the granting of heaven or the casting of the soul into hell. There will be honor and glory, or there will be shame, corruption, and contempt.
With Christ and His reward with him, He next says, “to give to every one according to his work.” The word “give” is insufficient. It signifies to give back or to return. Therefore, it should be translated as “render” or “repay.” Further, this is a quote from Job –
“For He repays man according to his work, And makes man to find a reward according to his way.” Job 34:11
Again, these words, spoken by Elihu, refer to the Lord (YHVH). But Jesus claims them as a right He possesses. The reward of life is based on a “work,” but that work is simply a work of faith –
“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.’” John 6:29
What God expects is that we believe in Christ. That is our work. Any “work” beyond that which is worthy of reward still must be a “work” of faith. Without faith in the Lord, in whatever we do, there can be no reward for it. But when a deed is done in faith, it is pleasing to God. Everything that man does must be done with Christ Jesus in mind. And when it is done in this way, it is worthy of God’s approval and His reward. It is Jesus who grants them to man on behalf of God.
Life application: Jesus has now stated for the fifth time that He is coming quickly. As seen, this is speaking not as much as a “when” but a “how.” When Christ returns, it will be suddenly and without warning. From the inception of the church age, there has been no time when He could not have come, and therefore His return is always imminent. As such, the church and the believers in the church are to live in constant expectation of His coming.
And in His coming, He will be the Dispenser of rewards. In whatever way our lives have been conducted, that is how we will be recompensed. But everything returned to us will be based on what we have already done. That is the purpose of repaying. We shall be rewarded according to the measure of our faith, and how it is directed to God through Christ.
As noted above, our works must, by necessity, be works of faith in order to be rewarded. Ensure today that what you do is for the glory and honor of Jesus Christ. If it is, you will be rewarded by our great God who overlooks nothing. Let us be ready when we stand before JESUS.
Lord, though we fail You continually, You know our hearts and our love for You. Spur us on to great deeds of faith, and to works that will demonstrate this love. Thank You for every good blessing You have given us. Help us to pass those blessings on to others as well, noting that they came from You. To Your glory, we pray. Amen.