38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
40 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.
41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.
42 And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”
take his cross (v.38) — referring to the judicial custom by which the condemned person carried his state to the place of execution. This is the first mention of “cross” in the New Testament. It occurs at the end of the passage in which Jesus warned the apostles of the persecution they faced.
The cross in the life of Jesus was the test of His obedience to God. The cross in the life of Christ was what the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was to Adam in the garden. An individual’s cross the the revealed will of God for him. At this juncture, God’s will was that people should receive Christ’s words and believe His person. Such was the test to determine whether one was acceptable or unacceptable to God. — Pentecost, page 196
in the name of a prophet (v.41) = as a prophet. Those who weren’t prophets would receive a prophet’s reward for supporting a prophet and his ministry.
little ones (v.42) — those doing ministry of even the littlest, simplest sort
One who received a righteous person and counted that one to be righteous would receive the same reward that the righteous person received from God. Christ was saying that when the Twelve preached in a community, there would be those who counted them as God’s prophets and as righteous. Such persons would accept the message as from God and turn in faith to the One whom they were introducing, and those persons would be rewarded in the kingdom. Nothing done in God’s name is ever forgotten by God (Matthew 10:42). Whatever the hearers of the Twelve did in Christ’s name would be a basis for reward. Thus rewards would go to all who received their ministry and consequently received them. With these instructions the Twelve were now sent out to proclaim the good news throughout Galilee that the kingdom was near. — Pentecost, page 196.