Summary: The message describes 1. Persecution, 2. the Principle, 3. the Point, and 4. the Promise
"Blessed Are Those Who Are Persecuted"
Scripture Matthew 5:10-12
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
This beatitude has also been called the "bookend" beatitude. Why, the first and last beatitude end with the same promise, "for theirs is the kingdom of God". Could it be that this is the last beatitude and Jesus in the next verses describes His very life?
If you look at all of the previous beatitudes you begin to get a picture of the life of Jesus, the only truly righteous life. Jesus was "poor in spirit". He humbled himself before the Father and obeyed all. Philippians describes His emptying of Himself to be human.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Philippians 2:8
Giving up all the glories of heaven to be like us. Jesus was humble. He emptied himself for us. He suffered all things for us.
Jesus mourned over the destruction of sin. He would go to the mountain side overlooking Jerusalem and see His people rebelling against the Father.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Matthew 23:37
I can only imagine the tears of sorrow flowing down His cheeks as He sorrowed over their loss. Jesus mourned over sin’s destruction and sin’s separation.
Jesus was the epitome of meek, strength under control. He could have called fire from heaven to deal with His enemies. He could have called 10,000 angels to take him off the cross. But His mission was the redemption of you and me. He was obedient unto death. Jesus was meek.
Jesus lived righteousness. He is our righteousness. As the risen Lord and Savior He is the living water and the bread of life.
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35
Jesus was and is merciful. He is mercy personified. He brought the mercy of God to us by dying on the cross.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5
He is pure in heart. He is purity. There is nothing unclean or blemished in Jesus. Because of His sinless perfection He could die on the cross for our sins. He is our Lamb without blemish.
Jesus is our peacemaker. Through His death on the cross we can have peace with God. He is the only way to have peace with God. Not only does He give us peace with God, He is also our peace. In Him, we have peace. By sharing His life and being His witness we bring peace to a lost and dying world.