Daily Insight November 26
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12
Yesterday we discussed “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Today’s insight gives more insight into what does it mean ‘persecuted because of righteousness.’ Jesus says when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me, you are blessed. You see, persecuted because of righteousness means insulted, persecuted and false witness against you because of the name of Jesus Christ.
Beloved, you found the way, truth, light, and life in Jesus Christ. You understood the poverty-stricken condition in front of the Holy God and you were meek and humble to accept the fact that there is no other way under the heavens and among men to enter into God’s kingdom, other the one way which is Jesus Christ because Jesus is the God-Man who paid for all your sins and shortcomings by his precious and divine blood. Now the ruler of this world, the devil and thought process behind it does not like you because you discovered the way of salvation in Jesus. The world would begin to insult you, persecute you and falsely accuse you and say evil against you because you became a citizen of heaven and an heir of God’s inheritance.
Simply, ‘persecuted because of righteousness’ means insulted, persecuted, accused and false witnesses and talking bad about you because you accepted Jesus as your savior and Lord and now obey Him. You accepted God’s righteousness available in Jesus Christ instead of relying on your righteousness-right living, works, and actions. Jesus says ‘you are blessed’. Blessed means you are happy. You have divine joy and peace inside you in the midst of insult, persecutions, false accusations and evil talk against you.
Not only you are blessed, but also the passage encourages you to rejoice and be glad. The reason for rejoicing and be glad is this – great is your reward in heaven. In addition, also remember they persecuted many people before you in the same way. Jesus reminds them of the prophets who were persecuted because they testified and prophecied the living God and the coming savior of the world even hundreds of years before the incarnation of Christ.
Four things to remember when you are insulted, persecuted, accused and said evil things about you because of the name of Jesus Christ:
- It underscores, underlines the fact that yours is the kingdom of heaven
- You are blessed. You are happy and have inside joy in the midst of insult, accusation and evil testimonies against you
- You have a great reward in heaven
- Remember, this is not unusual. The same way they persecuted the prophets of the old testament before you.
Peter has much to talk about this topic. The epistle of Peter indicates Peter was transformed by Christ’s sermon on the mount. Peter 4:12-16, “My dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful test you are suffering, as though something unusual was happening to you. Rather be glad that you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may be full of joy when his glory is revealed. Happy are you if you are insulted because you are Christ’s followers; this means that the glorious Spirit, the Spirit of God, is resting on you. If you suffer, it must not be because you are a murderer or a thief or a criminal or a meddler in other people’s affairs. However, if you suffer because you are a Christian, don’t be ashamed of it, but thank God that you bear Christ’s name.” In 2:12, He wrote, “Your conduct among the heathen should be so good that when they accuse you of being evildoers, they will have to recognize your good deeds and so praise God on the Day of his coming.”
He continued to write in chapter 3:14-17, “ But even if you should suffer for doing what is right, how happy you are! Do not be afraid of anyone, and do not worry. But have reverence for Christ in your hearts, and honor him as Lord. Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you, but do it with gentleness and respect. Keep your conscience clear, so that when you are insulted, those who speak evil of your good conduct as followers of Christ will become ashamed of what they say. For it is better to suffer for doing good if this should be God’s will, than for doing evil.”
Beloved, we can also be transformed by Jesus’s sermon on the mount. Were you insulted, persecuted, falsely accused and reported evil against you? Remember, you are blessed! It assures the fact the Kingdom of heaven belongs to you. Great is your reward in heaven. Remember you are not alone. They persecuted the faithful before you in the same way.
Got a moment for today’s prayer? “Father in heaven, I understand Jesus was insulted, falsely accused, beaten and suffered to give me God’s righteousness. I cannot attain the right living and action to please God. However, You imputed the righteousness of Jesus in my life. I accept Jesus as my savior and Lord. Thank you for your love and salvation. In Christ’s name, I pray, Amen. “