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  • Writer's pictureBrock Bondurant

Blessed are You When…

Luke 6:22-23 – Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven;…

I’ve been meditating my way through the book of Luke, interacting with Jesus and allowing the Spirit to speak through the words I read each day. The Spirit drew my attention to the above verses out of Luke 6 this week and they are a theme I’ve noticed repeated elsewhere in Scripture.

Normally, repetition like this may alert me that the LORD may want to prepare me for something. Perhaps there’s some sort of ‘persecution’ for the truth of the gospel coming my way, or maybe a false allegation – or even a true one! – that could discourage me in some capacity. I’m not sure, and I’m not going to be out looking for it. But whether there is something specific to me or not right now doesn’t mean Jesus’ words here in the Gospel of Luke aren’t always worth knowing.

crown of thorns

I am not going to pretend that, at least in the U.S. today, followers of Jesus are threatened with any real persecution. Some bias or slander sure, but nothing like the persecution of the early Church martyrs or the persecutions happening in places like Iran and China. (the places where the Church is growing the fastest currently!). Obviously I am writing about the words of Jesus on a blog right now with no fear whatsoever about any impending fate awaiting me at its publish.

While there is some increased hostility towards the Church right now, I have experienced an openness to the person of Jesus that far outweighs any of the hostility making headlines and in social media posts. The point being we’re still free to share the truth of the gospel with the world around us in the U.S. Maybe it will get increasingly harder to do so, but isn’t that what we expect if we read the Scriptures?

I think what I’m feeling regarding the above passage is less about persecution itself and more about our heart posture towards those who may hate, exclude, revile, or defame us on account of Jesus.

In a world full of back-and-forth bickering, exchanging of insults, and very little listening, it seems to be second nature, e

ven in the Church, to fire back at someone when we feel slighted in any way. We’re so bent on protecting our pride and dignity that we show little regard for the hurtful words we hurl at others. I’ve got to think that this deeply grieves the heart of Jesus whether we’re followers of him or not. He is the one who rejected pride completely and surrendered his dignity entirely in his incarnation and ultimately in his gruesome death (see Philippians 2:5-11).

So, for those who are followers of Jesus, who get to share in the great joy and life Jesus offers, let’s remember Jesus’ words for us here.

If we are to ever feel slighted in any way, but especially for the sake of the gospel, can we extend love in return knowing that we are blessed? Can we turn the other cheek, go the second mile, give away more than is asked of us? Scenarios of hate, exclusion, reviling, and defaming are opportunities to practice the way of Jesus; the way of love, joy, kindness, and forgiveness – the way of grace.

In a world bent on division, hostility, slander, accusation, and offense, the bar of human decency and kindness is set at an all-time low. In return for these things we can hold our tongues, respond in love, and inquire of God to know the truth of ourselves and the world. As we unashamedly share the reason for our hope (Romans 1:16, 1 Peter 3:15) and open ourselves up to potential misunderstanding and defamation, let us remember the words of our Savior – the One who was put to death as the most misunderstood and reviled – who said, “take heart; I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33).

Reject offense and take the way of the lowly servant, Christ, who in the opportunity to defend himself chose to bear the burden of us all. Consider Him today and offer up gratitude for the reason of our ‘blessedness.’ Take heart friends.


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