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Blessed are The Persecuted (Matthew 5:10-12)

Jesus concludes the Beatitudes with, "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Jesus understood not everyone would welcome the Light He brought to the world. (John 3:19-21) "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."

Jesus knew the persecutions He endured culminating in the crucifixion would sometimes be experienced by those who spoke the truth of God’s love and the need of all for salvation through Jesus Christ and Him alone. (John 15:20-22) “Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.”

The Beatitudes tell of blessings of the soul, happiness with an eternal perspective transcending trials and troubles experienced in this life, even persecutions resulting from faith in Jesus. “Peace on earth” sung by the heavenly hosts at the birth of Jesus did not mean a world without wars or conflict. It meant the inner peace that comes from knowing Jesus and accepting the gift of salvation through faith in Him. (John 3:16-17) "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

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