Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10 NABRE
Jesus teaches his disciples what is commonly referred to as the beatitudes, a blessing. Jesus begins with, “Blessed are” and then a fortunate statement or condition followed by a reward or promise for the person who meets the condition. Matthew has eight beatitudes and Luke in his gospel has four beatitudes. It is likely Jesus used this form of teaching on a number of occasions, it is adaptable for almost any situation. Even the Hebrew Scriptures have a number of beatitudes, most of which refer to blessings in the present life. The eight beatitudes in Matthew’s gospel announce blessings that begin to be experienced in this life and will be fully realized in the heavenly Kingdom (cf. James 1:12) The quoted beatitude promises the Kingdom of Heaven and does so in the present tense. By following this condition we receive the Kingdom of Heaven here and now and into the future. This beatitude speaks about obedience to Christ’s message, following the gospel. Those who obey His message will be persecuted by the world. Christ speaks about this in other places as well, whoever follows Jesus life and lives as Christ will be rejected and persecuted. Jesus is saying, don’t let that stop you, do it anyway and even while you are being persecuted you will avail yourself of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus leads us to a life that is the opposite of what the world wants to live, and so it is a life that the world wants us to stop living, As if living more like Christ effects their life? Hmmm, that makes sense actually, living more like Christ challenges others to do the same.
Has there been a time when you were persecuted in the name of Christ? Would you like to experience heaven now?Jesus leads us to a life that is the opposite of what the world wants to live, and so it is a life that the world wants us to stop living, As if living more like Christ effects their life? Hmmmm ... Click To Tweet
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