Monday, February 11, 2019
Luke 6:22-23: [Jesus is saying,] "Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets."
Are These Blessings?
"If those are signs of being blessed, then I don't want to be blessed!" you may exclaim after reading these verses.
Who wants to be hated, excluded, reviled, and spurned? No body does. As a matter of fact, there are protests all over the world because people feel, and are, persecuted. People get angry about not being treated fairly and equitably.
And here is Jesus saying that we are blessed when experience them. What's up with that? And He wants us to be happy about it?
On Account of Jesus:
Now, let's be clear here. I deliberately left off a key phrase in what Jesus said earlier, on purpose. It was to get you to start to think about life, your status, and joy in life.
The key phrase is, "on account of the Son of Man." Said in a different way, "on account of Jesus, who is the Son of Man and Son of God."
You see, when we suffer because we believe and live with Jesus, that is joyous. People who don't believe see us as "Out of touch," "believing in a false prophet," or "believing in a person who didn't exist." Ask your "Alexa" who Jesus Christ is.
We suffer because we believe in the true God. We faced "challenges" because we believe in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world who gave up His body and shed His blood in order to forgive us our sins. We get hurt by people because they don't know and understand. We get hurt because we believe in someone beyond ourselves.
And We Rejoice!
Yup, we rejoice in the sufferings. For two reasons.
The first is: People are angry and are afraid of what they don't understand, or believe. They don't know Jesus. They don't want to know Jesus. And, if you dug down deep, they are afraid that we are right, that Jesus is who we say He is. So let us rejoice that we are making a difference.
The second is: Even though things happen to Christians because of our faith in Jesus, we know that "heaven is our home." We will struggle in this world. And when we pass, there will be no more struggles, forever. It is something to look forward to. It is something about which we rejoice.
So rejoice, Christian.
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.