Matthew 5:10-12

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

BEATITUDES EIGHT THROUGH NINE

INTRODUCTION:

 

As we look at the beginning of Matthew 5 , we find Jesus in the midst of delivering the Sermon on the Mount, giving nine beatitudes.

 

The beatitudes comprise verses 3-12, and we are in the process of considering them.

 

We have already seen the first seven beatitudes:

 

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

 

Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

 

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

 

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

 

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

 

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

 

In this message, we want to look at the final two beatitudes.

 

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

Matthew 5:11-12 – (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.

 

The first four beatitudes reflect an inner quality; whereas beatitudes five through eight provide a resultant characteristic of each of these inner qualities.

            1. Poor in spirit              corresponds with        5. merciful

            2. Mourn                               corresponds with        6. pure in heart

            3. Meek                                 corresponds with        7. peacemakers

            4. Hunger and thirst      corresponds with        8. persecuted

after righteousness

 

Next, we see –

            8.   The Eighth Beatitude – 5:10

 

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

According to verse 10, those who have been persecuted because of righteousness are blessed because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.

 

Blessed means happy, fortunate, blissful, or to be envied. People go to all ends to achieve happiness. The beatitudes tell us how we can find real and lasting happiness.

 

They which are persecuted

 

Who are they? They are those people described in verses 3-9. They are persecuted because of what they are.

 

What is meant by persecuted? It refers to those who are pursued, harassed, or treated evilly.

 

For righteousness’ sake is for the sake of righteousness, because of righteousness, or on account of righteousness.

 

They are not persecuted because they are obnoxious or because they are objectionable.

 

They are not persecuted because they are foolish or fanatical.

 

They are not persecuted because they are over-zealous or because they are supporting some cause, such as the environment.

 

They are not being persecuted because they are good, noble, or self-sacrificing.

 

They are being persecuted because they are righteous, because they are upright, i.e. because they are Christlike.

 

Jesus said –

John 15:18-21 – (18) If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (19) If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (20) Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. (21) But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

 

Paul wrote –

II Timothy 3:12 (12) Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

 

Who is doing the persecuting? The world and the world system are doing the persecuting.

 

The world system that persecuted the Lord Jesus Christ will persecute believers. It is headed up by Satan who is persecuting believers.

 

Peter wrote –

I Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

 

Principalities and powers persecute believers. They are part of the world system.

 

Paul wrote –

Ephesians 6:10-12 – (10) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

 

Ungodly men persecute believers. They are also part of the world system.

 

Luke wrote regarding Paul and Silas’ experiences in Philippi –

Acts 16:16-24 – (16) And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying [i.e. fortune telling]: (17) The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. (18) And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. (19) And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, (20) And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, (21) And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. (22) And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off [i.e. tore off] their clothes, and commanded to beat them [i.e. to beat them with rods]. (23) And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: (24) Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks [i.e. fastened their feet in the stocks].

 

Paul wrote regarding Alexander the coppersmith in Ephesus –

II Timothy 4:14-15 – (14) Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: (15) Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.

 

Is it any wonder we are commanded to keep away from the world, i.e. from the world system?

 

Paul wrote to the Romans –

Romans 12:1-2 – (1) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 

John wrote –

I John 2:15-17 – (15) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

 

Persecution also comes from professing Christians and from worldly Christians.

 

I don’t know about you, but in my lifetime I have personally experienced more problems from believers than from unbelievers.

 

Why are the righteous persecuted? because they are different. They don’t even have to say anything. By their righteous lives they show others up for what they really are. Therefore, they hate us and try to find fault with us.

 

What form does persecution take?

 

It may be –

Physical

Social ostracism

Verbal abuse to our faces – saying vile, abusive, vicious, unkind, and untrue things to us

Slander us behind our backs

 

Back to Matthew 5:10

For their’s is the kingdom of heaven. The same statement was made Matthew 5:3 regarding the poor in spirit.

 

It means that the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.

 

Theirs refers to those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and it has been placed in a position of emphasis in the Greek text. It implies that the kingdom of heaven is theirs rather than someone else’s, that the kingdom of heaven is theirs and theirs alone, or that the kingdom of heaven is only theirs. This also indicates that the kingdom of heaven does not belong to those who are not persecuted for righteousness’ sake.

 

Is indicates a present and ongoing reality, and its mood indicates that this is something which is definitely true at the present time.

 

The kingdom of heaven is also mentioned in verses 3, 19, and 20. In verse 3 it was learned that the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are poor in spirit. In verse 19, it is learned that whoever breaks the law will be called least in the kingdom of heaven but that whoever keeps the law and teaches others to keep the law will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. In verse 20 it is learned that if someone’s righteousness does not exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, he will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven is the rule or reign of the God of heaven over the earth.

 

In Matthew 5 the kingdom of heaven refers to the rule or reign of heaven in the lives of individuals. Although it sometimes (as in chapter 13) refers to professing believers, in chapter 5 it seems to be referring to genuinely saved people.

 

Next, we see –

            9.   The Ninth Beatitude – 5:11-12

 

Matthew 5:11-12 – (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.

 

According to verse 11, the disciples are blessed whenever people insult them, persecute them, or lie about them, saying all kinds of evil against them, because of Jesus.

 

Blessed, which means happy, fortunate, or privileged, are ye, when men shall revile you.

 

Are introduces a present and ongoing truth, and its mood indicates something which is definitely true.

 

Ye is you (plural). Blessed are you.

 

When is whenever and is understood not only with shall revile but also with persecute and with shall say.

 

Whenever men shall revile you is whenever they revile you (i.e. reproach you, mock you, or heap insults upon you as a way of shaming you). People say things to believers which are unkind, untrue, and vicious. Believers should handle it as Jesus did by keeping quiet and committing themselves to God the Father.

 

I Peter 2:21-23 – (21) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (22) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: (23) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.

 

And (whenever they) persecute you implies whenever they are harassing you because of what you believe.

 

Persecute you suggests that people will pursue after believers in order to do them harm, to injure them, to make life difficult for them, or even to murder them.

 

And (whenever they) shall say all manner of evil against you falsely is and (whenever they) speak (i.e. utter, declare, or assert) every (or every kind of) evil (i.e. wicked or vicious) word against you.

 

Falsely has been translated as showing how people say all manner of evil against believers. It may instead be understood in the sense of while lying or although lying.

 

For my sake is because of Me or on account of Me, where Me refers to Christ.

 

Matthew 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

 

According to verse 12, the disciples are to be rejoicing and glad because their reward in heaven is great. The prophets who had lived before them were likewise persecuted.

 

Rejoice suggests be rejoicing, be glad, or be happy.

 

And be exceeding glad is another way of saying rejoice. It is understood in the sense of be exceedingly joyful, be exulting, or be overjoyed. Neither of these terms means be giddy. The tense of both rejoice and of be exceeding glad implies continuing or ongoing action. It indicates that this is always the way believers are to be reacting when being reviled, persecuted, or slandered because of Christ.

 

For introduces the reason believers should be rejoicing and exceeding glad. It is the word ordinarily translated because and is used in this sense in this verse.

 

Great is your reward in heaven indicates that God will one day, in heaven, in a special way bless these believers who have been reviled, persecuted, and slandered because of Christ. Although, throughout the history of the world, it has been normal for believers to be reviled, persecuted, and slandered because of Christ, believers in the United States of America have typically avoided this treatment; but this may soon change.

 

For introduces a comparison.

 

So is thus or in the same way.

 

Persecuted they the prophets is they persecuted the prophets.

 

Which were before you limits the prophets to being the ones who prophesied during the Old Testament times.

 

Before you suggests before you (in time) or earlier than you. Peter wrote similarly in I Peter 3:14-16 ,

 

I Peter 3:14-16 – (14) But and if (i.e. but even if) ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy (i.e. blessed) are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; (15) But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts (i.e. set God apart as Lord = recognize God’s sovereignty in this matter): and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (16) Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation (i.e. manner of life) in Christ.

 

Peter also wrote –

I Peter 4:12-14 – (12) Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: (13) But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. (14) If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy (i.e. blessed) are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

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