Thursday, August 15th, 2013
Sermon On The Mount (Part 6)
The Beatitudes: The Up Side Of Down
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in Heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:10-12 (NKJV)
From cover to cover, the Bible is filled with irony. Irony is 'an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected' (Random House Dictionary). Old Testament examples include a 90-year-old having a baby, a Jewish prisoner becoming governor of Egypt, a shepherd-boy becoming king, and a donkey lecturing a prophet.
The greatest Irony in the history of the world is Jesus. After millennia of expectation, the promised Deliverer of God's people showed up in a stable, worked as a carpenter, preached to the poor, refused to be rich, used peace as His power, brought the dead back to life--then sacrificed Himself.
At the time, God's plan seemed absurd to most kings, princes, priests and scholars. It still does.
'Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men' (1 Corinthians 1:25); 'For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, 'He catches the wise in their own craftiness' ' (1 Corinthians 3:19). Catching the wise in their own craftiness is irony--God style.
Because only God turns night into day, ashes into beauty, mourning into dancing, sinners into saints, lambs into lions, death into life and persecution into blessings. Upon the death of Jesus, His disciples 'Turned the world upside down' (Acts 17:6). To what purpose? To bring the Right side up.
Therefore, consider persecution for righteousness' sake a blessing waiting to happen. That's the up side of down.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Sermon On The Mount series.