The prophet’s reward is the fulfillment of the prophetic word. There are two ways to receive the prophet’s reward. The first way is to do what the prophet does: trust and obey. The second is to receive a prophet as a prophet, which means that even though you haven’t heard the word from God for yourself, you trust and obey the word of the prophet to the point that you act on it by faith.
“The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet ‘s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.” Matthew 10:41 ESV
What The Prophet’s Reward Isn’t
Today, some think that the prophet’s reward is to receive a personal prophetic word. Yet I’ve heard God very clearly for others, prophesied that word, and had a few people deliberately work hard to make sure that word didn’t come true just to prove me wrong. Make no mistake… there are always those few. But most of us want to see the good plans God has for us fulfilled in our lives (Jer. 29:11). My point is that those few people received a personal prophetic word without receiving me as a prophet at all. Receiving a personal prophetic word isn’t the prophet’s reward.
Others have taught the prophet’s reward is to receive eyes to see and ears to hear. Yet, as I’ve taught in the past, we all have a responsibility to have eyes to see and ears to hear. Besides that, seeing and hearing is a gift that we receive from God by faith—not a reward that we earn. You cannot earn a gift from God. And yet, earning something is definitely what Jesus meant when He used the word, “reward,” in Matthew 10:41. That word He used literally refers to pay for service, wages or dues paid for work, or the fruit naturally resulting from toils and endeavors.
The Righteous Man’s Reward
One way to understand the prophet’s reward is to explore the meaning of the righteous man’s reward. Simply put, God rewards righteousness. The reward or fruit of righteousness is well explained throughout the Bible (Psa. 18:20, 18:24, 34:17, 37:25, 37:29, 37:39, 55:22, 84:11; Pro. 10:3, 10:24, 11:28, 13:21, 24:16; Isa. 3:10; Mat. 6:33, 25:46).
But how do we earn the reward of righteousness? Essentially, any reward from God is given for trust and obedience. The Bible says that Abraham was considered righteous because of his faith—a faith that was proven and completed by the corresponding action of obedience (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6). He earned the rewards of righteousness by putting faith into action. He learned to trust and obey.
The primary difference between the righteous man’s reward and the prophet’s reward is that the righteous man receives a reward according to the established word of God while the prophet receives a reward according to the present word of God. The prophet’s reward is the fulfillment of the prophesied word. As with the reward for righteousness, this reward requires effort to receive. This is where people so often miss the fulfillment of the prophesied word. It’s not a matter of making it happen; it’s a matter of cooperating with God by faith. Remember, a reward is not a gift—it is the fruit of deliberate effort.
A prophet is a divinely inspired spokesman. The reward of the prophet is the fruit of that divine inspiration, the visible outgrowth of the seed of the word. That reward is reaped by faith in action. Only God can cause the fruit to grow, but He gives us the responsibility to cultivate, care for, and reap the planting of the Lord. Fruit is both a blessing from the Lord and a reward for our labor.
Elijah the prophet received a word from God that God would provide for him through a widow in Zarephath (1Kin. 17:8). So Elijah found the widow only to discover that she didn’t even have enough provision for herself and her son. Most people in the same situation would assume that they interpreted God wrongly. It would be so easy for Elijah to assume that he should move on and find a different widow. But Elijah had faith in the word he heard from God and he acted as if he had faith in that word. He didn’t assume the word was wrong; he assumed that there needed to be action corresponding with faith to see the word fulfilled.
The principle is this: the reward was available, but it would require work to receive it. Receiving is never just passively accepting something. It is actively aligning through acts of cooperating faith (read more about that…).
Elijah realized that if God was going to provide for him through the widow, God was going to have to provide for the widow first. So Elijah boldly prophesied to her what he heard from God for himself. Think about that for a moment. The Bible never tells us that Elijah heard from God for the widow. He heard from God for himself and he prophesied in agreement with that word by faith. The widow received Elijah as a prophet and believed his word. She did not passively accept him by title or casually hope his word would come true. She actively aligned with his word by cooperating action. She obeyed his word as he obeyed God’s word, and as a result she was rewarded just as he was rewarded. She received the prophet’s reward because she did the same thing the prophet did: trust and obey.
You can receive someone else’s reward by faith in action in agreement with the word they received. That’s incredible! When we receive Jesus as God, we receive the Father also. When the Hebrew’s received Aaron as a prophet, they received the blessing of the word of Moses, and in turn received the word of the Father. Jesus takes it a step further and says you can receive a righteous man’s reward or a prophet’s reward by receiving them for who they are.
The prophet’s ability to see the manifestation of prophecy is simply because he believed the word so deeply that he acted on it—even to the point that he brought others into it. I love the fact that he had to help others walk through to the fruit of the word he prophesied to them before he received the reward himself. He couldn’t prophesy provision to the widow and walk away hoping she would learn to cooperate with God. He had to walk her through to the fulfillment of the word. That’s a sign of maturity in prophetic ministry. Once you learn to walk it out for yourself, God will put you in the position to help others walk it out too. In fact, it’s a core part of the prophet’s job in the New Covenant (Eph. 4:11-14).
But here’s the most interesting part. He had to walk her through to fulfillment on a word that he prophesied before he could see the fulfillment of the same word in his own life. As God leads us into maturity, He allows us to end up in situations where we are required to think of others before ourselves.
The Bottom Line
A prophet should assume that God will reward others with the same fulfillment that they are to receive, and therefore have the power to prophesy it to others (1Sam. 3:19). You can give what you are receiving. The bottom line to seeing the fulfillment of the prophetic word is that we must learn to trust and obey.
Jeremy Caris is the founder and president of Caris Ministries. Since he is called as a prophet and gifted as a teacher, much of his focus involves equipping believers to hear, know, and follow God in their own daily experience. He teaches the foundational truth of the Word with simple clarity, while revealing deep things of the spirit in practical ways. He has the unique ability to demystify the supernatural side of real relationship with a living God and make it an embraceable and accessible reality for all believers. Jeremy has been married to his best friend, Mandy Caris, for twenty years, and is the proud father of two boys.