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Image result for persecution of christiansThe religious leaders wanted to kill Jesus. They would. The religious elites just didn’t want people to be upset about it when it happened. That was the big concern. Not murder, just riots. Yee Gads!

In only two days the eight-day Festival of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread would begin. The high priests and religion scholars were looking for a way they could seize Jesus by stealth and kill him. They agreed that it should not be done during Passover Week. “We don’t want the crowds up in arms.” they said. | Mark 14:1-2

Am I motivated by not wanting the crowds to be up in arms? Does “the mob” matter to me?

The crowds did get up in arms. They sent Jesus to his death and they severly persecuted his disciples. Consider this from Paul. He wasn’t alone.

Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. ~ 2 Corinthians 11:24-28

If I take a stand for Jesus, the mobs, and others aren’t going to like me. Jesus promises that I will be more than happy when I am persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for the Kingdom of heaven will be mine. I will be more than happy when people insult me and persecute me, and falsely say all kinds of evil against me because of Jesus. Jesus says rejoice and be glad, for my reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before me.

Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. | Mark 10:29–30 (NASB)

Alert! Persecution is here and will continue. 

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