Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.… Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.—Matt. 5:10, 12
Jesus pronounces a double blessing on those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, which is for His own sake. The specific blessing promised is that “theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mark 10:29–30).
First, Jesus promises us blessings here and now. Not every believer is rewarded in this life with the things of this life. But every believer is rewarded in this life with the comfort, strength, and joy of His indwelling Lord. He is also blessed with the assurance that no service or sacrifice for the Lord will be in vain.
Next, there is also a millennial aspect to the kingdom blessing. When Christ establishes His thousand-year reign on earth, we will be co-regents with Him over that wonderful, renewed earth (Rev. 20:4).
Finally, there is the reward of the eternal kingdom, the blessing of all blessings of living forever in our Lord’s presence and enjoying it to the utmost. The ultimate fruit of kingdom life is eternal life.
|How do we keep these blessings and promises before us when the fire of persecution really heats up? How have you experienced the favor and reward of God even in the midst of situations in which you felt unjustly abused and ridiculed?|