BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO ARE PERSECUTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS’ SAKE, FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. BLESSED ARE YOU WHEN OTHERS REVILE YOU AND PERSECUTE YOU AND UTTER ALL KINDS OF EVIL AGAINST YOU FALSELY ON MY ACCOUNT. REJOICE AND BE GLAD, FOR YOUR REWARD IS GREAT IN HEAVEN, FOR SO THEY PERSECUTED THE PROPHETS WHO WERE BEFORE YOU.
The world would say protect yourself, keep your guard up, work to build your own comfortable, safe place and stay inside it. The Kingdom lifestyle is just exactly the opposite. It says open up, lay down your armor, give yourself away. Go outside and don’t be surprised that it’s dangerous. It’s always been dangerous.
So, I see this last Beatitude as reminder that if you are living this upside-down vulnerable lifestyle it is sometimes going to seem like a dumb idea!
Every time I exercise one of those “blessings” the potential return could be a snake instead of a fish. This is what the Enemy would like me to believe: Poor people are needy, mourners are sissies, the meek are wimps, the zealots – obnoxious, compassion is soft, the lily-whites get splattered in mud and peacemakers – well – they get shot at.
Jesus says, “I know, I know. I really do.”
I think that is why He tells me right here, there are blessings to this kind of life that go way beyond today. I don’t think I would get it if He didn’t spell it out.
It’s hard and it’s dangerous but be strong and courageous. This is the way to become like Jesus.
As for the current mission, I’m training for Lighthouse duty.
“Cover me Jesus, I’m goin’ in!”
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father who is in heaven.