And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Matthew 5 provides us with what has become known as the Sermon on the Mount. Here we see Jesus advocating a totally different mindset than what most people would consider normal.
- Blessed are the poor in spirit
- Blessed are they that mourn
- Blessed are the meek
- Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness
- Blessed are the pure in heart
- Blessed are the peacemakers
- Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake
Their situation was totally different than ours. Jesus was not popular with the religious leaders of His day. He drew huge crowds but this came with a lot of persecution. In the midst of this persecution Jesus delivers these words.
Most Christians through Church history could not imagine what it would be like to live in a country such as the United States. We have historically embraced Christianity. This is changing. We are moving away from God as a nation and I wonder if the majority of Christians are ready for the persecution that is coming on the Church.
Over the last year I’ve read of pastors being arrested or threatened arrest for trying to hold services in their churches. One ministry had their rights as a religious organization stripped opening them to legal challenges for holding services that would have been unimaginable even one year ago in the United States. Thankfully they have chosen to stand when many churches are refusing to do so.
Jesus’ instruction is for us to rejoice when we are persecuted. This is a totally different mindset than what most Christians will choose when things don’t go their way.
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