“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” (Matthew 5:11 NIV)
In this passage of scripture, which is notably called, The Sermon on the Mount, crowds of people had been following Jesus, listening to His proclamation of Good News, and paying attention to His healing the sick. He went upon the mountain side and sat down and when His disciples came to Him, He taught them. Notice all that is said, before He gets to our scripture reference for today.
Matthew 5:3-10–Commonly referred to as the Beatitudes (What our attitude should be):
vs.3 Blessed are the poor IN SPIRIT, for theirs (strength is in Jesus) is the kingdom of heaven.
vs.4 Blessed are those who mourn (grieve over the loss of a loved one) for they WILL BE COMFORTED.
vs.5 Blessed are the meek (those who have no need to bring attention to themselves) for they will INHERIT the earth.
vs.6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for RIGHTEOUSNESS (doing what is right before God), for they will be filled.
vs.7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be SHOWN mercy (new mercies every day).
vs.8 Blessed are the pure in heart (have a heart for God), they WILL SEE GOD.
vs.9 Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS, for they will be called children of God.
vs.10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of RIGHTEOUSNESS, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
I have detailed explanations of these blessings in myBook.to/IAMALLTHAT
All these Jesus said to those who follow Him and all these are still relevant today for all who follow Him.
The references to righteousness is for those in right standing with God, not because of their own righteousness, because we no no righteousness of ourselves. These are the people who know what God has said and endeavor to obey Him in all things. When they miss the mark, they are quick to repent–turning away from the thing(s) they did which did not please God. We who choose to come to God (the disciples came to Him) and listen and obey are blessed no matter what our individual circumstances are.
Knowing how other people–who don’t know Him would treat those who follow Him–the blessings He confers are to encourage us when we are belittled, and ridiculed because of our faith in Him. And then He goes on to say in vs. 12 “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” In other words, those who have been speaking God’s Word to nations long before we came on the scene were ridiculed, and killed because they spoke what God spoke to them.
Beloved, there is so much more that Jesus said, and I encourage all who don’t know Him to get to know Him through His Word. For those of us who know, we must simply keep saying what God said–knowing that one plants the seed of righteousness and direction to Jesus, another waters, and we wait to see God’s increase.