“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you and insult you and reject you as evil on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and jump for joy, because your reward is great in heaven. For their ancestors did the same things to the prophets.”
Sometimes we read parts of the Bible and wish that they said different things. We wish that some sentences stopped in the middle. Take Luke 6.22 for example:
“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you and insult you and reject you as evil…”
Wouldn’t it be great if it stopped there? Basically, anytime people are mean to you, you’re blessed! But that’s not what it says, is it? What does it actually say?
“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you and insult you and reject you as evil on account of the Son of Man!”
Jesus wasn’t telling His disciples here – and you now – that anytime someone is mean to you, you’re blessed. He’s saying that anytime someone purposely persecutes you because of your faith in the Son of Man, in Him, then you are blessed because your reward is great in heaven and their ancestors did the same things to the prophets.
Was He lying or was He suffering from lunacy here?
Again, Fox’s Book of Martyrs tells us that these men listening (6.12-17) met horrific deaths on account of the Son of Man. Would they have done that for a lunatic?
He could, though, have been lying. Jesus could have duped these guys into believing that He was something He was not, couldn’t He? Sages throughout the ages have said things along these lines. Why was Jesus different?
Jesus Himself was excluded, insulted, and rejected as evil. Jesus died at the hands of those who hated Him (Mark 14.64). This wasn’t a yarn Jesus was spinning, this wasn’t a lie He was telling, this was the truth He came to live.
Jesus here was sharing a little with His disciples – and you now – about the reception the world will afford them but the joy that they ought to feel because of it. Whilst we might like to think it’s time to rejoice anytime someone is less than lovely to us, Jesus makes the point that it’s when we suffer as a Christian (1 Peter 4.16) that we join the ranks of the faithful who have gone before us.
For you and for me then, are we living enough of a visible and out-there Christian life for people to see?
Are we public enough with our faith – not with the goal of drawing criticism and critique – but to show people who we are and what we believe?