Monday, February 26, 2018

Matthew - Blessed are the Persecuted

In today's study from Matthew 5:10, we take a look at when the Old Testament ended and when the New Testament began and also are reminded that those who live Godly in Christ will be persecuted.

Blessed are the Persecuted
vv.10-12 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Jesus was persecuted from the time of his birth to the time of his death. He promised the same for those who would follow him! Jesus said in Matthew 10:34-39Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

We see others in the Bible who were also persecuted for believing in Jesus such as the Blind Man in Joh 9:33-34 when he told the religious leaders after his healing that if this man were not of God, he could do nothing. Their response sadly was that he was born altogether in sins, who was he to try to teach them, and he was promptly thrown out of the synagogue. The promise is that those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake would indeed receive the kingdom of heaven. Jesus even went as far as to tell them that they are rejoice in the face of persecution (cf. Luke 6:27-36).

Christian Application
Christians are also asked in Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? The answer is, none of these things.

Also in 2 Tim 3:12 we are told that all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. If you are living a Godly life, you will indeed suffer for it. No way around it.

Hast thou no scar?  No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?  I hear thee sung as mighty in the land, I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star, Hast thou no scar?  Hast thou no wound?  Yet I was wounded by the archers, spend, Leaned Me against a tree to die; and rent, By ravening beasts that compassed Me, I swooned: Hast thou no wound?  No wound, no scar?  Yet, as the Master shall the servant be, And, pierced are the feet that follow Me; But thine are whole: can he have followed far Who has no wounds nor scar?

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