“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Jesus Christ once pointed out that His disciples would suffer for the sake of the kingdom and the righteousness of God. In the Bible, there are many characters who were persecuted for the sake of Jesus Christ and the gospel. Jesus suffered great persecution from the religious leaders of His day. After the establishment of the apostolic church, Jesus’ followers were persecuted for taking a stand for the Lord.
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. (1Pet 2:21)
Jesus Christ suffered for us. He endured much pain and sorrow while doing good for us. Jesus suffered physically throughout His trails, torture, and crucifixion. He suffered emotionally as He was rejected by many, especially when all the disciples deserted Him and fled when Jesus was arrested. He suffered spiritually as He cried out on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Mt 27:46) Jesus was crucified to bear our sins. The suffering of Jesus Christ was God’s plan for the salvation of the world.
Doing the right thing is not always easy. In fact, the path to doing what is right is often lined with great difficulties, struggles, and uncertainties. Doing the right thing also does not guarantee that everything will turn out fine nor does it mean we will have the support of others. In fact, it can be quite lonely at times, with no one to encourage us or to take our place.
Saul tried to kill David countless times, but David never retaliated. Though he had two clear opportunities to kill Saul, he refused saying, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master… seeing he is the anointed of the Lord” (1 Sam 24:6). David did what was right even though his servants urged him otherwise and he himself knew Saul would keep trying to kill him. Continue reading
Over the past few years, there have been a number of movie releases that would make one believe in the good, humanitarian side of people. We are led to believe that if the world was coming to an end, everyone would lay aside their own interests, join forces, and save the world together.
Say there was a movie plot where one guy had waited longer than anyone else—practically his whole life—to enter a pool with the power to heal any disease. Even though the pool would only have power once in a while and there was a huge crowd of people who needed healing, we would still imagine, or even expect, that the poor fellow would be allowed to go first, based on our altruistic ideals.
Well, this actually happened about two thousand years ago and unfortunately, no one even took notice of this man for thirty-eight years (John 5:2-5). What would you have done if you were him? Continue reading