Red Letter Day 3: Blessed are Those Who are Persecuted
2015 Lent Blog
Friday February 20
7. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
10. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:7-10)
These are the second half of the 8 Beatitudes and as I said yesterday these 4 deal with more closely how we relate and live with our neighbors and the world. The final one of these is the one that touches me most at this moment, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” I still have the vision of the 21 Coptic Christians who were killed this week in Libya in my head. I have read those killed were heard saying “Lord Jesus Christ,” in prayer as they were about to be killed. Martyrdom is the ultimate form of persecution and these men and their families have faced this terrible brutal tragedy. My prayers have been for their families, of these 21 individuals, as they ponder how in the world this could have happened but it does make a powerful testimony of faith to the world.
All of these passages give the ultimate blessing and the promise that these individuals now see God, know of His incredible mercy in Christ, and are called sons of God. The Kingdom of Heaven is now theirs as they see it with their own eyes. These are the promises that God gives here and forever more. What these individuals now proclaim to the world is that in all things and all places Jesus is Lord of all.
In Christ’s Service,