Encouragement for Those Persecuted for the Gospel (5:10-12)
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).
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
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.
For the best Bible Gateway experience, consider upgrading to Bible Gateway Plus. Bible Gateway Plus equips you to have in-depth biblical discussions with your friends, your family, and your peers. Try it free for 30 days!