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Water, Giving (Cold Water)


Jesus told his disciples, “if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones, because he is a disciple of mine, will not go unrewarded” (Mt 10:42). Offering water to drink was a significant sign of hospitality during Biblical times. People and their animals who walked long distances needed water. When Abraham’s servant travelled to Nahor in search of a bride for Isaac, Rebekah gave him and his animals water. The servant selected that generous virgin as the spouse for Isaac (Gen 24:1-28). When the Israelites were thirsty during their journey in the desert, God provided them with water from rock through a miracle to save them from death (Ex 17:1-7; Num 20:7-11).

Jesus expected hospitality, food, and other necessities of life for the twelve apostles and seventy-two disciples from those benefitting from their preaching and favors through miracles. So, he instructed them to carry only a bare minimum of items so that they could move around freely (Mk 6:8-9; Lk 9:3). Even the poor people could afford to offer “cold water” to their guests. Cold water was valuable for those who walk long distances on a sunny day when water was unavailable by the wayside. Offering such help was an ancient practice of generous people. Jesus offered a reward even for such a favour for his chosen ones.
A cup of “cold water” symbolizes the smallest service anyone can afford. When Jesus noticed a poor widow putting two coins worth a few cents in the Temple treasury, he appreciated her offering (Mk 12:41-44). Those who could provide more can do so. The willingness to receive the disciples was more important than what the host could afford. Even minor support to the disciples is worthy of a heavenly reward.

Helping any poor person is rewarding. However, when one supports a missionary of Christ, the reward is higher. Jesus considered any favour to his disciple as a gift to him because they were his ambassadors.

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