All the Christians should know this, opposition to our faith is a certainty. It is not a matter of if, but when. Jesus warned the disciples from the beginning.
This is what Jesus said: Matt. 5:11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely…”
1 – THE SPECIFICS OF THE PERSECUTION
The first lessons that we learn with this verse is the specificity of the persecution. Let us see some of the descriptions.
- REVILE – To heap insults on, denounce, find fault, rebuke. The word in Greek carries the idea of reviling, upbraiding, or seriously insulting, and literally means to cast in one’s teeth. To cast insults is to throw abusive words in the face of an opponent, to mock viciously. This is what Peter told the church, “1Pet. 4:14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.”
- PERSECUTE – To pursue, persecute, to systematically oppress and harass a person or group, as an extended meaning of pursuing a person on foot in a chase. Jesus would emphasize this idea later, “Matt. 24:9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.”
- UTTER ALL KINDS OF EVIL AGAINST YOU FALSELY – To say all kinds of evil, wrong, and false things about you. Faithfulness to Christ will bring enemies of the gospel to say all kinds of evil against us falsely. Whereas insults are abusive words said to our faces, these evil things are primarily abusive words said behind our backs. Jesus experienced this kind of persecution, “Mark 14:56 Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.”
2 – THE REASONS FOR THE PERSECUTION
The next aspect of persecution that Jesus mentions in this Beatitude is the reason, “Matt. 5:11 “… on my account.” It is because of Jesus
- BECAUSE OF WHO THEY ARE – The main reason for this specific persecution is who we are, WE ARE CHRISTIANS. Peter made this point clear for the church, “1Pet. 4:16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. Paul also, mentioned it to his disciple Timothy, “2Tim. 3:12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” The first reason is directed to who we are, we are Christians, and because of that we will be persecuted.
- BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY BELIEVE – The second reason is because of what we believe. Many people are Christian, but their belief in Christ is according to this world, they do not have a deeper commitment with Jesus and His Word. They do not stand firm in those beliefs, and because of that they are not persecuted. This is what Paul wrote to the Galatians, “Gal. 6:12 Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.”
- BECAUSE OF YOUR TESTIMONY – Finally, we will be persecuted because of our testimony. It is not only for what we believe, but also for what we say. It is our confession about Jesus and His Word that will bring persecution to us. This is the vision that the apostle John had,“Rev. 20:4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God.”
As you can see my friend, this persecution is directed straight to those who call themselves Christians, believe in Him, and proclaim Him and His teachings.
Have a blessed week,