Matthew 5:10

Matthew 5:10

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

No one enjoys being bullied. Volumes have been written on what bullying does to a person’s self-esteem. The country and the world have been rocked as a result of bullying. Is this what Christ was talking about as he sat upon the mountain side speaking to the people? Or does he have something else in mind?

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake. Jesus is presenting to His followers that should they have hope of attaining earthly glory and riches, they should be careful for what they wish for. Or are you wishing for a life free from trial, free from temptation, free of sickness and death?

Over the years, I have met some wealthy followers of Christ. People I would say had a close relationship with Christ, yet as wealthy and influential as they were, they still were not free from trial, temptation, and sickness.

Along life’s pathway, I have met many a poor person that wondered where their next house payment would come from. Yet they had a true understanding of Christ and a deep fundamental faith in him that often defied explanation. What is Christ saying upon the mountain side and we hear today echoing through the hills of time?

The truth is, the world fails to understand nor can it understand those that have chosen to walk hand in hand with their Master. As Christ walked the path of self-denial and reproach, so will the faithful follower of Christ walk the same path. Because the world knows them not, nor can it understand the things which are of a spiritual nature, the faithful follower is persecuted.

Because of sin, mankind is naturally at enmity against God and all that God stands for. For those who have accepted Christ as their Saviour the world comprehends it not. In their eyes it is foolishness and in this way they turn against Christ’s true followers and persecute them because they are different, unusual, and don’t fit the accepted norms.

Christ himself suffered the same persecution by the united forces of mankind, Satan, and his evil host. Though His every word and act breathed of divine compassion, His unlikeness to the world provoked the bitterest of hostility. Because He would give no license for the exercise of the evil passions of our nature, He aroused the fiercest opposition. So it is with all who will live godly lives in Christ Jesus. Between righteousness and sin, love and hatred, truth and falsehood, there is an irrepressible conflict. When in presents the love of Christ and the beauty of holiness, he is drawing away the subjects of Satan’s kingdom, and the prince of evil is aroused to resist it.

Though it is an unpopular belief, persecution and reproach await all who are instilled with the Spirit of Christ. To the true follower of Christ, persecution should not cause grief, in its stead persecution should bring joy to the Disciples of Christ, for it is an evidence that they are following in the steps of their Master, their Redeemer.

While the Lord has not promised His people exemption from trials, He nevertheless has promised something which is far better. He has said, “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” “My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Deuteronomy 33:25; 2 Corinthians 12:9. If you are called to go through the fiery furnace for His sake, Jesus will be by your side even as He was with the faithful three in Babylon (see Daniel chapter 3). Those who love their Redeemer will rejoice at every opportunity of sharing with Him humiliation and reproach. The love they bear their Lord makes suffering for His sake sweet.

Through trials and persecution, the glorious–character–of God is revealed in His chosen ones. The church of God, hated and persecuted by the world, will be educated and disciplined in the school of Christ. They walk in narrow paths on earth; they are purified in the furnace of affliction. They follow Christ through painful conflicts; they endure self-denial and experience bitter disappointments; but their painful experience teaches them the guilt and woe of sin, and they look upon it with abhorrence. Being partakers of Christ’s sufferings, they are destined to be partakers of His glory. In holy vision, John the loved disciple and prophet saw the triumph of the people of God. He says, “I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory, . . . stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints.” “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sits on the throne shall dwell among them.” Revelation 15:2, 3; 7:14, 15.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

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