If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 1 Peter 4:14 NABRE
Peter is writing to the communities about imitating Christ, his main theme is about suffering. Peter recognized Jesus suffered and was rejected and Peter is expecting the same for new followers. This quoted verse is like Jesus beatitude, “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me.” (Matthew 5:11) going on to say, rejoice for great will be your reward. The beginning of the church saw many who were martyred for following Jesus and helping build the church. The first and most famous, Stephen was stoned to death by the Jews. While being stoned he forgave his persecutors and had a vision of Jesus. He received “the Spirit of glory and of God” during his persecution and killing. Today it is less likely we will be killed outright for our belief, although in some parts of the world Christians are being killed for their belief. But we will more likely see subtle persecution, we might be shunned, avoided, or ignored. Many times we are treated unfairly by those who are closest too us. Even church people will push us aside for having a belief in Jesus stronger than is common for the majority of the congregation. Church people want to think they are doing enough to satisfy Jesus message of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, giving drink to the thirsty, comforting the sick and visiting the prisoner. If we challenge them by doing more, we can receive their persecuting action.
Care must be taken not to be influenced by those doing little when we know we should do more. Do not accept fellow church members as being right, often people give from their surplus without personal sacrifice.
Have you been persecuted? Are you rejected for Jesus’ sake?Many times we are treated unfairly by those who are closest too us. Even church people will push us aside for having a belief in Jesus stronger than is common for the majority of the congregation. Click To Tweet
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