‘The blessing that belongs to the persecuted’ (Matthew 5:10-12)

After speaking about the blessing of being poor in spirit, being broken over our own sin, the importance of meekness, the need to hunger and thirst for righteousness, the blessing that comes to those who know and give out mercy, the need for a pure, undivided heart,and the blessing that belongs to those who set out to make peace, in Matthew 5:10-12, Jesus then spoke of the blessing that comes to those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. It is a strange fact of life that those who seek to live the way that Jesus taught in these Beatitudes will face persecution. The world may approve of people having ‘their religion’ but when that very thing shows up the darkness of other people’s hearts and lives, then this will not sit so easy with others. Christians all over the world are facing this kind of persecution, because they are aiming to live for another kingdom, not the one of this world. Jesus was persecuted Himself – even to death on a cross! He said, ‘if they hated me they will also hate you’.