This is the last in the Beatitudes series, and I would like to recap the previous posts one more time.
We first looked at being poor in spirit, which meant we recognized our sin and brokenness. The we looked at mourning over that sin and the comfort that would come. After that came the meek, and we talked about submitting our lives to God. Once we are humbled before God, we will hunger and thirst for His righteousness, which is something we can’t get on our own. Next came the merciful. Those who receive mercy from God will then be able to have mercy on others. Then we are made pure in heart so that we can see God. And last week, we looked at what it means to be a peacemaker. The last of the Beatitudes is about persecution.
“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult and persecute you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” — Matthew 5:10-12
Who is persecuted?
Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. — 2 Timothy 3:12
There are key phrases to pay attention to in Matthew 5:10, 2 Timothy 3:13, and 1 Peter 4:13-14.
“…Persecuted for the sake of righteousness….” — Matthew 5:10
“…People insult and persecute you because of Me.” — Matthew 5:11
“…Live godly in Christ Jesus…” — 2 Timothy 3:12
“…To the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ…. If you are reviled for the name of Christ…” — 1 Peter 4:13-14
Do you see the common theme? We aren’t talking about punishment for our own wrongdoings (1 Peter 4:15-16). We are talking about persecution for righteousness while living godly lives in Christ Jesus.