The Sermon on the Mount (Continued)

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The Sermon on the Mount (Continued) - 18 October 2006

Matthew 5:11-12

11 “Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.”

12 “Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
~ New American Standard Bible

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
~ King James Version

The persecution mentioned in these passages reminds me of Isaiah 59:15 of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament):

15 Yes, truth is lacking;
And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey.
~ New American Standard Bible

A parallel passage to the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 5:11-12 is found in Luke:

Luke 6:22-23

22 "Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and cast insults at you, and spurn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.”

23 "Be glad in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.”
~ New American Standard Bible

And in Luke 6:26 Jesus warns his listeners about succumbing to the desire for popularity at the expense of truth – something that continues to be widespread, even after thousands of years. “Selling out” is commonplace in all endeavors – religious, charities, business, etc. – in this day and age.

26. “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for in the same way their fathers used to treat the false prophets.”

"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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