The Beatitudes, Part 8 - Blessed Are Those Who Are Persecuted Because of Righteousness

Saturday, November 5, 2016

raised fists

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10

There is a saying that goes, "If someone isn't mad at you, then you aren't doing your job." The reasoning behind that statement is that successful people pose a threat to those around them who are interested in staying comfortable. To be successful requires that you change and grow. It means you have to be moving forward. Success challenges the status quo. I wonder if this is what Jesus was hinting at with this last Beatitude. Perhaps the first seven are steps to true success as God defines it. If you become a person that is poor in spirit, who mourns, is meek, that hungers and thirsts after righteousness, is merciful, is pure in heart, and is a peacemaker, you are a person who has become like Christ. To me, that is the epitome of success. Maybe this last part isn't so much a character trait like the rest, but more of a warning that this will result not only in being blessed, but lead to persecution. It will make people uncomfortable and upset. Why? Because it will challenge them to change and they won't like it. When they hang around you they will be reminded of how they need to change just like you did.

So we have come full circle in the Beatitudes. The result of the first one was the same as this last one--"for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." It's the ultimate reward. The inheritance of those who possess these Christ-like character traits is to be a co-heir with him in all that the Father has given him. The meaning of the original Greek word suggests that it includes his royal power and the dignity bestowed upon the Messiah. That's pretty powerful.

So, I guess it's true what they say--"if someone's not mad at you, you're not doing your job." Let's make people around us uncomfortable today. Not to make them angry, but to challenge them to become more like Jesus. Be salt and light today. Let them see that you are blessed--a person who has a peaceful contentment which goes beyond the mere feeling of happiness.

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