Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Sometimes persecution leads to the loss of property or life. Sometimes persecution comes in the form of personal abuse. This mistreatment is not brought on by something you said or did. It comes because of your relationship with Jesus and your commitment to follow hard after Him.
The word “insult” in today’s passage means, “to injure the reputation of,” “to malign.” This takes place when you are the subject of vicious rumors, when you are the target of a slander campaign, or when you are being laughed at for your faith. “Insult” may result in losing your position at work, being overlooked for advancement in your job, being ridiculed even in your home and, in some cases, being disowned by your family.
Persecution and insult are painful – no doubt about that – but Jesus tells us to put them in a historical and eternal perspective. You are not the first to be mistreated. They persecuted the prophets before you. This earth is not your final destination, it is simply a layover. Great rewards are waiting for you in heaven!
Father, insult is painful. I feel the hurt and mistreatment. I want justice so I desire to strike back. Help me keep a greater perspective. Keep my eye on the eternal reward. In Jesus’ name. Amen.