Matthew 5:10–12 (ESV)
are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute
you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Jesus introduces His Sermon on the Mount with nine beatitudes that detail the future blessedness of His disciples. These promised blessings are God’s gracious gifts to those who repent of their sins and trust Christ for righteousness. Only
after Jesus has assured His disciples of God’s goodness to them does He call on them, in the rest of His sermon, to be good and do good. When we recognize our own spiritual poverty, when the Lord leads us to hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness,
when He makes us pure in heart so that we seek to worship only the true God, then we are blessed, now and forever. One thing we need to count on beside the love of Jesus… and that is we will be persecuted.
I pray: Gracious Savior, keep my eyes ever focused on You and Your blessings, which are mine by grace alone. Amen.
Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The
Lutheran Study Bible (p. 1586). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.