The word “persecuted” is just not one of those words that make us stand up and dance when we hear it, is it? I mean can you really say that you love it when you are persecuted? And, don’t you find it odd that Jesus connects persecution with being one of his followers who are blessed?
Can you imagine telling people, “Hey, come and join in a relationship with me and you will be saved and blessed! Oh yeah, by the Way, you need to expect persecution; so hang on.” Here’s the great part about our connection with God through our Bridge–Jesus; life is sweet in Christ. I would rather face persecution with Christ in my life than a smooth sail on the waters of life without Him.
In this Beatitude passage Jesus goes on to say, “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.” (Matthew 5:10-12). People will lie about you and falsely accuse you; I can testify to having suffered in this way, can you? We must understand that following Jesus comes with a cost. Why? Because Jesus gave His life for us at a great cost to Himself. Our goal must be to stay close to our Rabbi and follow. When you feel yourself being persecuted for choosing to follow Jesus in all things–making Christ the authority in your life; rejoice! That is just another way for you to know that your eternal home in heaven is secure. Grab hold of the people around you who also want to follow Jesus and lock arms in great celebration; we are One in Christ for all eternity!