“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
The persecution to which Jesus refers here is not for personal wrong but for “the kingdom of heaven. The word “for” connotes on account of righteousness. Righteousness is the cause of persecution. There is something about the gospel that brings out the worst in those who oppose the gospel.
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The average Jew of Jesus’ day looked at the kingdom as a time of prosperity, but Jesus said His kingdom will bear the blessedness of being persecuted for what is right.
Living for the kingdom involves persecution.
The Christian life is not all sweetness and light. Christians need to expect persecution. If they don’t, persecution will destabilize their Christian lives. Persecution involves a certain preparation and orientation to God’s will.
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 2 Ti 3:12
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 1 Pe 1:6-8
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 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. 1 Pe 4:12-14
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 1 Pe 5:10
How wrong you are! You said that the persecution Jesus refers to is not for personal wrongs but rather limited to evangelizing the Gospel. ANY persecution that is in response to righteous acts will merit one the Kingdom of Heaven. Please stop proselytizing your misinterpretations of Sacred Scripture. YOU do NOT get to decide who gets into the Kingdom of Heaven. Nor do you get to decide what is righteous in God’s sight or what Jesus meant by persecution.
Robert, the next verse says persecution is for Jesus’ sake. Also, in verse eleven,the passage says they persecuted “the prophets” before you. Obviously, this section of Mt 5 has to do with persecution for message. There are many passages of the Bible that talk about about persecution for personal righteousness. Please interpret Scripture according to context. Your reaction to this commentary seems over the top and vehement.
When Jesus spoke about persecution for righteousness’ sake, notice how he specifically DIFFERENTIATED between persecution on His account and persecution on righteousness’ account. THAT is the correct context – otherwise, Jesus would not have needed to repeat himself. That is why he spoke of the Prophets separately, so followers would know that there are DIFFERENT kinds of persecution. Now do you understand?
Robert, both passages use the word “persecute.” Verse 11 is an expansion of the persecution in verse 10. The reason believers were persecuted in verse 10 is “because theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The reason for the persecution in verse 10 had to do with their joining Jesus’ kingdom message. The persecution in verse 11 was “for Jesus’ sake.” Thus, the context argues for persecution for standing for the righteousness of Christ’s kingdom message. As you may know the Greek word ??????????? (righteousness) has a number of meanings. One is personal righteousness of which you argue. One of Matthew’s main uses for this word is that which represents the message of righteousness as it is here. It also has a forensic meaning as well as other meanings in the New Testament.
Wouldn’t you agree that any one who does what is pleasing to God is doing right by Jesus – even if that person is not necessarily doing anything religious? And wouldn’t you agree that if one is persecuted for doing what is pleasing to God – by doing good things, things that are just and charitable, then Matthew 5:10 applies to him?
Robert, Definitely. There are passages dealing with persecution for being righteous such as 1 Peter 3:14–17.
“This beatitude may therefore serve as a compass for American voyagers desirous to stay on the path to The Kingdom. Travelers who are not experiencing persecution would do well to examine the reasons why they are not. Jesus expects the follower of this beatitude to become a target.
Exercising values dissimilar to acceptable culture is the evidence that they are different. Even in America, daily opportunities present themselves. At work, living out the truth can exact costs of advancement and increased compensation. Socially, exercising temperance will mean exclusion from certain societal groups. Moreover defending individuals, groups, and ideas in conversations can lead to judgment, gossip and reprisal. Those who experience these consequences, according to Jesus, will be members of The Kingdom.”
Excerpt From: Mike Stair. “Be Attitudinal.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/fBu8y.l