Lent – Day 9 – A Study of Matthew 5
“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.” Matthew 5:11-12
To revile someone goes beyond mere criticism. It is intense mistreatment with anger and the intent to cause great harm. It is action words intended to castigate someone just short of physical injury. To be reviled is to be subjected to the worst kind of verbal attacks and vitriolic assaults, particularly against a person’s race, religious beliefs or moral position on any number of matters.
Though Jesus was mocked by the Roman soldiers and authorities, He was vigorously reviled continually by the Jewish religious leaders, the Pharisees and Sadducees. He told us as His followers to be prepared to be treated similarly, because that is how they treated Him.
“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” John 15:20
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously…” 1 Peter 2:21-23
When we live our faith openly and uncompromisingly before the world we will be persecuted and mocked by some, and even reviled by those who know that we follow Jesus and hate us because they hate Jesus. Chief among these is the devil and all his disciples. When they rail against us for the proclamation of the Gospel we should not take it personally or let it become a point of offense, nor should we cower in intimidation and fear because of their threats. The devil has no more power over us than he has over Jesus.
By the Word of God we can stand firm against his accusations and false witnesses. And do it with great joy knowing that we have a great reward in heaven, sealed for us by the blood of Jesus Christ.
For generations the enemy has sought to quench the Word from being preached and heard. By every act of treachery, violence and mayhem he has tried to destroy the church and silence the Word of Truth, but, every time he has failed, and every time the Church has grown greater and more powerful in opposing him.
The words of the prophets are still being heard around the world in greater magnitude and dimension than they could have ever imagined in their day. At the speed of light the Gospel is circling the globe, North, South East and West. It is being preached every minute of every hour of every day, 24/7 365 days a year, and souls are being won to Jesus Christ in every nation on the face of the earth.
Praise God for those who are being reviled and persecuted for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. Their reward is great in heaven.
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” 2 Corinthians 4:8
Praise God for our Lord Jesus Christ who blesses the work of our hands and raises us up with those who are cast down because of faith in Him.
Evil shall soon be put down for all eternity and we will rejoice together with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in whom we have the victory that overcomes the world.
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” 1 John 5:4