April 2 - Matthew 5:11-12

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April 2 - Matthew 5:11-12

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

I read these things and sometimes it occurs to me that I would like to ask Jesus if he’s crazy.  When others revile me, persecute me, utter all kinds of evil against me falsely; the last thing I’m going to do is rejoice and be glad.  I do not care how many people they've done this to in the past.  I don’t want to put up with it now and they should be punished and scorned and reviled right back – it would serve them right.

One of the commentaries calls this a paradox and I’d have to say … no kidding!  How is it that anyone can take personal persecution and be glad for it?

But, I think that Jesus is asking us to be different than what we are, to look beyond ourselves to the truth of the matter.

If people are ridiculing us because of Jesus Christ in our lives, it’s not about us and is nothing we should take personally.

I take everything personally.  Well, every negative thing.  I can fall down into a deep, dark funk with just a few negative words because I can’t bear to have people believe things about me that are hurtful.

But, that isn't how Jesus wants me to respond to the world. It’s not all about me.  It’s about him.  When others revile me because of him, I should rejoice because He is such a big part of my life that they notice Him within me.

Okay. I get it now.