“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matt. 5:10-12
Persecution requires others
You cannot do this Beatitude; it is done to you. You can recognize your spiritual poverty, mourn over sin, hunger for God, but persecution comes from others and is not of your choosing.
A Double Emphasis
Jesus emphasizes the topic by re-stating it: “Blessed are those who are persecuted … Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you.”
Choosing the Kingdom
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Matt. 13:45-46)
Gaining access to the Kingdom involves being sold out for Jesus.
The Cost of Kingdom Living
Persecution is a price for living the Kingdom way. Jesus declares,
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18).
Your Reaction Matters
Reacting to persecution by turning the other cheek reveals Kingdom truths in real terms. Believers are blessed as they maintain a spirit of joy in the midst of personal persecution.
Persecuted for Peacemaking
The Beatitude is coupled with peacemaking. Persecution sometimes comes when trying to encourage others to love God and their neighbor.
A Coming Persecution
“Blessed are those who are persecuted” is written in the future tense.
Persecution may not presently be occurring but can come at anytime.
Being a Martyr
The New Testament word translated “witness” is rooted in martyrdom, suggesting total commitment. Many today are experiencing persecution, some giving the ultimate sacrifice.
Be joyful in persecution. Persecution connects you with Jesus and the heroes of faith recorded in Scripture. (Hebrews 11) Rejoice, you have great reward!
How has persecution impacted your faith in Jesus? Share your comments below.