What Jesus Did! 'Persecuted!' — Matthew 5:10-12

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

"What great blessings there are for the people that are treated badly for doing good! The kingdom of heaven belongs to them. People will say bad things against you and hurt you. They will lie and say all kinds of evil things against you because you follow me. But when people do those things to you, know that God will bless you. Be happy and glad. You have a great reward waiting for you in heaven. People did those same bad things to the prophets that lived before you."
— Matthew 5:10-12
Illustration of Matthew 5:10-12 — "What great blessings there are for the people that are treated badly for doing good!"

Key Thought

You mean we are really blessed by being persecuted for doing what is good and by being insulted for being righteous? Now that's hard to take! Seeing ourselves blessed by God in such times is very tough. How can we be glad when we are persecuted, spoken about badly, and have evil lies told about us when we are trying to do good? But that is exactly what we see in the book of Acts. The early disciples considered it a privilege to suffer for the name of Jesus. In his first letter, Peter is constantly reminding believers to make sure that if they are going to suffer, they suffer because they have done what is right, not what is wrong. You see, the journey of discipleship is about developing the character of Christ and carrying on the great tradition of faithfulness demonstrated by the prophets. If they faced persecution for doing right, shouldn't we think we will? Even more, history has repeatedly reminded us that those who suffer to bring a blessing to others have a witness that cannot be silenced. That's why God is not ashamed to be called their God and why the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them. More than just being happy, Jesus said these people will have a great reward!

Today's Prayer

Holy God and Righteous Father, thank you for reminding me that the first goal in my life is not to be protected, but to be used to share your grace. Help me to know that being persecuted for doing what is right is following in the steps of Jesus. Give me the courage and the passion to help lead others to the wonderful discovery of you, your grace, and your great reward. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus saw the many people that were there. So Jesus went up on a hill and sat down. His followers came to him. Jesus taught the people. He said: "What great blessings there are for the people that {know they} have spiritual needs! The kingdom of heaven belongs to them. What great blessings there are for the people that are sad now! God will comfort them. What great blessings there are for the people that are humble! They will have the land {God promised}. What great blessings there are for the people that want to do right more than anything else ! God will fully satisfy them. What great blessings there are for the people that give mercy to other people! Mercy will be given to them. What great blessings there are for the people that are pure in their thinking! They will be with God. What great blessings there are for the people that work to bring peace! God will call them his sons and daughters. What great blessings there are for the people that are treated badly for doing good! The kingdom of heaven belongs to them. "People will say bad things against you and hurt you. They will lie and say all kinds of evil things against you because you follow me. But when people do those things to you, know that God will bless you. Be happy and glad. You have a great reward waiting for you in heaven. People did those same bad things to the prophets that lived before you. "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its taste, then it cannot be made salty again. Salt is good for nothing, if it loses its salty taste. It must be thrown out and people walk on it. "You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden. And people don't hide a light under a bowl. No. People put the light on a lamp table. Then the light shines for all the people in the house. In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that people will see the good things you do. Live so that people will praise your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:1-16

Related Scripture Readings

The apostles left the meeting. The apostles were happy because they were given the honor of suffering dishonor (shame) for the name {of Jesus}.

Acts 5:41

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.

2 Timothy 3:12-13

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 2:12

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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.