Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.
“Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.
The teachings of Jesus are often counterintuitive to our way of thinking, right? Who is their right mind finds joy when they are hated, excluded, insulted, and rejected? Yet, that is the reaction of followers of Christ who are persecuted because of the name of Christ.
I am reminded of the disciples’ reaction recorded in the book of Acts –
“When they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.Acts 5:40-42
Later, Peter wrote that –
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler.1 Peter 4:14
At this point, few of us have been persecuted, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening around the world, and who knows if someday real persecution may be found among believers here at home.