Summary: There are some who do not see the Christian life as one that involves physical or emotional pain. The popular message to preach nowadays is the “prosperity message.” That message satisfies a lot of people.
As we continue our study on THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT, we will see tonight that the direction in which Jesus was teaching (in the first nine verses) takes a sharp turn in the highway. The verses we have already studied have been inspiring and uplifting for me, personally. But what we will read tonight (in the next few verses) will go beyond inspiration to that of caution.
As we will see, Jesus had a personal stake in the next three verses because they have to do with personal pain…both physical and emotional.
There are some who do not see the Christian life as one that involves physical or emotional pain. The popular message to preach nowadays is the “prosperity message.” That message satisfies a lot of people. Many people in our American culture expect their Christian walk to be filled with lots of positive things. I am not opposed to that thinking, but I also know that there are times when living for God can mean painful sacrifices.
Text: Matthew 5:10 (Key Verse);
Matthew 11:2 thru 9 (Study Verse)
At THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT there is no mention of John the Baptist, but I would think Jesus wanted to speak to anyone and everyone who would ever be -
“persecuted for righteousness sake.”
Jesus may have been thinking about what would happen to His very dear friend, John the Baptist, in the coming days. I am certain Jesus knows what might happen to any of us in the near/distant future…
John the Baptist is our example for Christian persecution. He was very different than most people.
1. He lived in the great outdoors and loved it.
2. Wearing the finest clothes was not his concern.
3. He didn’t mince his words…he always said what needed to be said, but what most people wouldn’t dare to say…
4. He was bold enough that rebuking King Herod was no skin off his teeth…
5. His primary message was for everyone to repent, and it didn’t matter who you were.
6. He had people who hated him and hated his message of repentance.
7. He was not treated fairly…
8. He is gruesomely executed for telling the truth by an evil king.
All of this may seem hard for us to imagine. We live in a country that stands by the innocent until proven guilty. In America, our judicial system for law and order is as fair as any other court system in the world.
Our lives are hard to compare with someone like John the Baptist. He was innocently executed by the highest court in the land. And nobody did a thing to come to his rescue. Nobody. Not even the Lord.
This is hard to swallow. An innocent man of God is murdered, while God goes about His business.
Is this how the anointed prophet is rewarded?
Is this how God honors those who are faithful to Him?
By the way, it’s okay to ask these questions. Because I am certain that John the Baptist did. He asked lots of questions of the Lord while sitting in a dungeon awaiting his execution. I’d have some questions too!
The question that is remembered for thousands of years is the one in which he asked Christ,
“Are you the Coming One, or do we look for another?”