In his final beatitudes Jesus declares not "Happy are those," but "Happy are you." Here Jesus takes his ethic of nonretaliation (5:38-47) to its furthest possible length: not only must we refuse to strike back, but we are to rejoice when persecuted. The persecution itself confirms our trust in God's promise of reward, because the prophets suffered likewise (13:57; 23:37; 26:68; 2 Chron 36:15-16; Jer 26:11, 23). The prophetic role of a disciple is analogous to (Mt 10:41-42; 23:34) and greater than (11:9, 11; 13:17) that of an Old Testament prophet. When we represent Jesus and his message faithfully and suffer rejection accordingly, we may identify with ancient prophetic leaders like Jeremiah, Isaiah and Ezekiel.
But here Jesus summons us to a greater honor than being prophets; he summons us to bear the name-the honor-of Jesus. The characteristics Jesus lists as belonging to the people of the kingdom are also those Jesus himself exemplifies as the leading servant of the kingdom and Son par excellence of the Father (11:27; 20:28). Jesus is meek and lowly in heart (11:29); he mourns over the unrepentant (11:20-24); he shows mercy (9:13, 27; 12:7; 20:30); he is a peacemaker (5:43-45; 26:52). If he is lowly, how much more must be his disciples, who are to imitate his ways (10:24-25; 23:8-12)-in contrast to worldly paradigms for religious celebrities (23:5-7).
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade to remove banner ads and unlock new features!
You've successfully created your account! For the ultimate Bible Gateway experience, consider upgrading Bible Gateway Plus to get the most out of your new account. For just a few dollars each month, a Bible Gateway Plus upgrade gives you:
• A complete digital Bible study library integrated with your Bible Gateway account, with no expensive software to install.
• Access to 40+ study & reference books including the NIV Study Bible, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, and the MacArthur Study Bible.
• Special during April only: full access to the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible
• An ad-free Bible Gateway experience.
• A risk-free, 30-day trial—you can cancel any time.