“If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.”
If you are reproached
The “if” carries the idea of “since” in the Greek — “Since you are reproached.” It is a reality that these Asia Minor Christians are about to be reproached for the name of Christ. No Christian should be surprised that people laugh at them because of their faith. Ridicule is part and parcel of the Christian life.
This is both persecution of slander and the tongue. “Reproached” means defame, disparage. Reproach is verbal abuse by disparagement because of our testimony. Someone puts us down because of our faith.
Mt 5:11-12, “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.”
How many of us have been reproached for Christ?
He 11:24-26, “By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.”
Moses turned down the prestige and wealth of being the most outstanding leader in the world of that day. In his day, the pyramids stood in their majesty. He had the proper “estimation” or viewpoint. He had the right set of values. What have we given up for the name of Christ? Not much. Moses knew how to evaluate what is important.
Ga 5:11, “And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.”
The “offense of the cross” goes with “reproached for the name of Christ.”
2 Tim 1:8, “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God.”
People who share their faith will undergo verbal attacks.
Christianity in our day does not cost much, nor does it demand much. We have an anemic Christianity today. It is a flabby Christianity compared to that of the first century. Is it possible that we believe the same things as the apostles did? When we read the book of Acts, it appears that they had one different brand of Christianity, and we have quite another.