In the Face of Persection

Matthew 5:43-45  43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Jesus instructs us to love our enemies, bless the people who curse us, do good to the ones who hate us and pray for the ones who wrongly use us. Much easier said than done. I imagine we have all encountered people in our lives who haven’t treated us the right way. We have probably been deceived by someone close to us. We may have even been betrayed by a close friend. When we are wronged, we are not to retaliate, but we are to show love instead. I think of the verse a little further down in Matthew 5:39-40 39But I say to you, Do not resist the evil man [who injures you]; but if anyone strikes you on the right jaw or cheek, turn to him the other one too. 40And if anyone wants to sue you and take your undershirt (tunic), let him have your coat also. If someone physically punched me in the face, I am not sure that I would have the fortitude to calmly turn the other cheek and invite them to hit me again. If someone hurt my heart, it would be equally as hard to continue to open my soul to them. Good thing Jesus isn’t me huh? Jesus gave us the greatest example of what our response to betrayal and persecution should be.

In Matthew 26 Jesus is having a Passover meal with His disciples. Let’s look at ..Jesus told His disciples that one of them would betray Him, and they all started asking Him who it was. Jesus knew all things, He knew each one of their hearts, He knew their thoughts, the whole time they were with Him He knew that Judas was getting ready to hand Him over to be killed. However, even though Jesus knew no-one else did. That shows us that He treated each disciple with the same level of love. He didn’t act differently toward Judas. He was able to love him in spite of what he was about to do. What would we do in that situation? Would we be able to follow Jesus example? The next time we face hatred, spite, maliciousness or betrayal we should take a moment to remember Jesus and show the same level of love to the ones who has wronged us.


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