What Jesus Did! 'Blessings for Those Abused for Jesus' — Luke 6:22-23

Monday, March 30, 2015

"People will hate you because you belong to the Son of Man. They will make you leave their group. They will insult you. They will think it is wrong even to say your name. When these things happen, know that God will bless you. At that time you can be happy and jump for joy, because you have a great reward in heaven. Their fathers were mean to the prophets in the same way that these people are mean to you."
— Luke 6:22-23
Illustration of Luke 6:22-23 — "People will hate you because you belong to the Son of Man."

Key Thought

The New Testament writers operated under the assumption that Christianity would always be a rejected counter-culture. The values of the Kingdom are not the values of the majority of people. The demands of the King are thought to be silly, harsh, or judgmental by those outside the Kingdom of God. Because many of us live in a watered down, pseudo-Christian culture, we are sometimes surprised when Christians are ridiculed, ostracized, and persecuted. Yet a night or two of television, a day or two watching hearings on possible judge appointees, and even a casual conversation overheard at the office water cooler reveals that Christians who seek to truly follow Jesus are the objects of disdain. Let's make sure that if we suffer for the name of Christ, it is because we have been people of character and respect, not because we have been obnoxious or self-righteous. At the same time, let's also remember that suffering for the name of Jesus is part of being Christian. Rather than being surprised, let's view these troubles as opportunities to show the character and grace of our Lord! When we do, we can be sure of God's blessing!

Today's Prayer

O LORD, God Almighty, help me to be a person who brings your blessings to others. May that be true in my casual encounters with others during the day. May it be true of those with whom I share faith. May it also be true when I find myself under attack for my faith. May my life always reflect the generous grace and the committed character of my Savior, Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus and the apostles came down from the mountain. Jesus stood on a flat place. A large group of his followers were there. Also, there were many people from all around Judea, Jerusalem, and the seacoast cities of Tyre and Sidon. They all came to hear Jesus teach and to be healed of their sicknesses. Jesus healed those people that were troubled by evil spirits {from the devil}. All the people were trying to touch Jesus, because power was coming out from him. Jesus healed them all! Jesus looked at his followers and said, "What great blessings there are for you poor people! God's kingdom belongs to you. What great blessings there are for you people that are hungry now! You will be filled. What great blessings there are for you people that are crying now! You will be {happy and} laughing. "People will hate you because you belong to the Son of Man. They will make you leave their group. They will insult you. They will think it is wrong even to say your name. When these things happen, know that God will bless you. At that time you can be happy and jump for joy, because you have a great reward in heaven. Their fathers were mean to the prophets in the same way that these people are mean to you. "But it will be bad for you, you rich people, because you had your easy life. It will be bad for you people that are full now, because you will be hungry. It will be bad for you people that are laughing now, because you will be sad and cry. "It is bad when all people say good things about you. Their fathers always said good things about the false prophets.

Luke 6:17-26

Related Scripture Readings

But you know all about me. You know what I teach and the way I live. You know my goal in life. You know my faith, my patience, and my love. You know that I never stop trying. You know about my persecutions (troubles) and my sufferings. You know all the things that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. You know the persecutions I suffered in those places. But the Lord saved me from all those troubles. Every person who wants to live the way God wants, in Christ Jesus, will be persecuted. People who are evil and cheat other people will become worse and worse. They will fool other people, but they will also be fooling themselves. But you should continue following the teachings you learned. You know that those teachings are true. You know you can trust the people who taught you those things.

2 Timothy 3:10-14

Dear friends, you are like visitors and strangers {in this world}. So I beg you to stay away from the evil things your bodies want to do. These things fight against your soul. People who don't believe are living all around you. Those people may say that you are doing wrong. So live good lives. Then they will see the good things you do, and they will give glory to God on that day when he comes.

1 Peter 2:11-12

If you are always trying to do good, then no person can really hurt you. But you may suffer for doing right. If that happens, then you are blessed (happy). "Don't be afraid of those people {that make you suffer}; don't be worried." But you should keep the Lord Christ holy in your hearts. Always be ready to answer every person who asks you to explain about the hope you have. But answer those people in a gentle way with respect. Always be able to feel that you are doing right. When you do that, the people who say bad things about you will be made ashamed. They say these bad things about the good way you live in Christ. They will be made ashamed for the bad things they said about you. It is better to suffer for doing good than for doing wrong. Yes, it is better if that is what God wants.

1 Peter 3:13-17

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.