"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 NLT
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!
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.
Related Scripture Readings
- 2 Timothy 3:10-14
- 1 Peter 2:11-12
- 1 Peter 3:13-17
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.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.