Blessed are the Persecuted
Matthew 5:10-12 (NKJV) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Why does Jesus say this? I mean lets be honest it doesn’t sound that fun to be persecuted.
hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs:
persistent annoyance or harassment:
All right so that is the definition of the word persecution and the interesting thing that sticks out to me is the second definition.
The Greek text contains a perfect passive participle. Jesus’ words could be translated, “Blessed are they who have been willing and continue to be willing to allow themselves to be persecuted.” The perfect tense indicates an ongoing attitude; the passive voice speaks of being willing to accept whatever comes as a result of living out the Beatitudes.
Let me ask you a very important question, “Are Jesus’ words about persecution even relevant today?” Has modern society become so tolerant that talk of persecution is outdated? It is my opinion that Jesus’ words are just as relevant today as they were when he spoke them.
Here are some reasons why:
Did you know it is a crime in many countries to be a Christian, punishable by death. Yea, DEATH. In many of the free countries we are blessed with freedom to practice Christianity. However just because we are not facing physical persecutions ourselves does not mean that others around the world are safe. You see thousands of Christians are being killed daily just because they believe in a loving God.
When Jesus’ said this He knew that with persecution comes death. So He said BLESSED are the persecuted for yours is the kingdom of heaven. It makes sense they are blessed to be persecuted because they will be in heaven soon. As Paul says to die is gain. Why did Paul say this? Because he knew being in the presence of God is far greater than anything that this world has to offer.
Even if you are not being hurt physically does not mean it is easy either. People are going to op jokes about you and talk about you. That is persecution to and we all deal with it as Christians.
So, How will you handle persecution? Will you treat it as a blessing? Or will you run and hide?
The choice is yours and I pray you make the right one.