Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Blessed are those who are Persecuted

Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven., Matthew 5: 1-12, the Beatitudes series ct.

In this fallen world, this is a loaded beatitude. What is justice? I found this next paragraph on "When people try to promote peace, or champion righteousness, or live a life of gentleness and meekness, they find opposition. One would think that such a life would attract people to the kingdom of God. But the fact that it does not naturally do that tells us clearly that the race is not only alienated from God, but in rebellion to God. They might want a form of justice, but in their own terms. They much prefer power, and privilege, and possessions. And so John the Baptist called for righteousness and went to an early death. And Jesus proclaimed all the right virtues but found opposition to his message because it called for them to enter his kingdom. And if they persecuted these, will they not also oppose the disciples?"

Because we all have our own way of looking at life, "justice" is hard to define. But this isn't just for those who have been persecuted. Jesus was saying this is for all who follow Him. It's any suffering endured for the sake of following Him. If you are a follower of Christ it means that you have identified that He is King and will declare the good news and life your life by His standards - but you will run into opposition.  But he promised that you will receive your reward in heaven.

I think Jesus put this one last to remind us that His ways are not the ways of the world and that if we follow all he outlined in the previous verses, we will run into opposition.  Drugs, alcohol, divorce, lust, anger, hoarding, pornography and more are the ways of the world. but let's face it - these "ways" bring nothing but trouble. They don't bring peace.

I'm ready for God's peace, aren't you?