Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Sometimes persecution leads to the loss of property or life. Sometimes persecution comes in the form of personal abuse. This mistreatment is not brought on by something you said or did. It comes because of your relationship with Jesus and your commitment to follow hard after him.
The word “revile” in today’s passage means, “to injure the reputation of,” “to malign.” This takes place when you are the subject of vicious rumors, when you are the target of a slander campaign, or when you are being laughed at for your faith. To be reviled may result in losing your position at work, being overlooked for advancement in your job, being ridiculed by your friends, and in some cases being disowned by your family.
Persecution is painful…no doubt about that. But Jesus tells us to put it in a historical and eternal perspective. You are not the first to be mistreated. They persecuted the prophets before you. And this earth is not your final destination. It is simply a layover. Great rewards are waiting for you in heaven.
Talking to God
Father, insult is painful. I feel the hurt and mistreatment. I want justice so I desire to strike back. Help me keep my eye on the eternal reward. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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