“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” vs. 11
Most servants of Jesus have the expectation that they will be appreciated and loved as they walk in his way, especially if they treat others with kindness and maintain a spirit of humility in their interactions. So they wonder why he implied in this beatitude that at least some of his followers would be reviled and persecuted. That’s not anything that we aspire to–we would in fact much rather be liked by everyone. The problem arises because Jesus, like the prophets before him, expected that the faithful would do justice and proclaim liberty to those who were oppressed. If it weren’t for that expectation Christians could easily float under the radar in carrying out their mission. But the “do justice” part of our call virtually guarantees that we are going to offend people. The rich and the powerful will always act to defend the status quo. They want the systems that have brought them wealth to continue to function even when they mean the continuation of poverty and oppression. It has been said that “no good deed goes unpunished,” and we’ve seen the explosion of that kind of harassment in this new age of demonic social media. Those trying to do the right thing, i.e. do justice, quickly catch the attention of internet trolls and falsehoods of every kind are leveled against them. And Jesus says to them, “Blessed are you! Your reward will be great!”
Thought for the Day: What’s scary to me about “doing justice”?