Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Some believe Christianity to be a crutch, helping those who are too weak (or possibly too stupid) to help themselves. Some Christians, they say, are looking for something that will protect them from the unknown, that big bad wolf we all fear. And without compassion or love, they try to cut down our beliefs, looking upon the Christ follower with contempt and possibly disgust at times. Instead of engaging with us as peers, they look down on us and treat those who seek a ‘right’ way of living badly.
In ours lives, as we seek to invite others into gospel conversations, know that not everyone will engage willingly or with curiosity. Instead they may engage with contempt, disgust, or even with anger. This isn’t to say they’re at their core malicious people. Perhaps they’ve been hurt by religion, or by religious people. Some may lash out at you. Some may persecute you because of the way you live. They might mock you, malign you, call you all sorts of names. Yet Jesus says here, know that when they do so, it is confirmation of your citizenship of heaven.
Friends, you may do everything right. You may raise your kids to be righteous, you may act in all sorts of good ways, you may be faithful to God, and yet, still you may still suffer. This is because our world is broken. It might not have anything to do with you but everything to do with them. You might be tempted to say, “I do all this good, and yet people who do bad prosper! What’s the point?” The point is that righteousness has a reward. The righteous one will see heaven and will be accepted as a son of God. The one who persecutes the righteous may never see heaven if they persist in their futile ways until the end. In the end, justice will be served and doing the righteous thing is always worth it.
Righteousness starts first and foremost at the feet of Jesus. One cannot have righteousness outside of the redeeming and restoring work of Jesus, which we will ultimately see this in the final beatitude. Your righteous work has purpose even when you don’t see any physical reward in this lifetime, Jesus says being righteous has a reward and we should take comfort that on the last day, righteousness is the side that prospers. Those who follow after Jesus are given a righteousness that far surpasses our brokenness and because of it, we will see heaven!
Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.