Matthew 5:10 is the eighth and final beatitude. “Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake, for great is your reward in heaven.” [KJV]
Pastor Mike asked the congregation “Do you feel persecuted?” Don’t we all at times? But this verse is speaking about being maligned for Jesus’ sake. Can you withstand torment for Jesus? Can you remain faithful and stay the Christian course?
There are martyrs who give their lives for their faith. We hear of students in the Mideast who are killed for saying they are Christians. In the years of old many men of faith died horribly and painfully. Could we? I want to say yes. In the days ahead I feel we will be tested to limits unknown to us thus far.
“Thank you my Lord and Father for your love and faithfulness. May we put on the armor of God as we go forward.”
Rev. Gina Tuch (10-2017)
PS: (JIV) Persecution can come in many forms. It isn’t always the gallows or the end of a sword.
In this Matthew passage the Greek is diōkō. It can mean “to be forced to flee, suffer, be chased or pursued.” In a real sense it is like living a life under the thumb of a bully; always keeping an eye open for the next guaranteed encounter. This becomes clearer when one reads the next verse (5:11)…”to be reviled or disdained of men.”