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God’s people have always faced persecution. The prophets were reviled, tortured, and killed. History records that ten of Jesus’ disciples were executed for preaching the Messiah. Tradition states that Peter insisted on being crucified upside down because he counted himself unworthy to die in the same manner as his Master. Yet he wrote,

If you are reviled for the name of the Messiah, you are fortunate [blessed], because the Spirit of God and of glory rests on you.

1 Peter 4:14

Jesus is our model: Jesus has been arrested. He is brought before the religious elites. The Jewish leaders are going to convict Him. The Romans are going to crucify Him. It has all been planned out. They cannot have King Jesus continue to disrupt things and make them look silly. No way.

Annas interrogated Jesus regarding his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered, “I’ve spoken openly in public. I’ve taught regularly in meeting places and the Temple, where the Jews all come together. Everything has been out in the open. I’ve said nothing in secret. So why are you treating me like a conspirator? Question those who have been listening to me. They know well what I have said. My teachings have all been aboveboard.”

When he said this, one of the policemen standing there slapped Jesus across the face, saying, “How dare you speak to the Chief Priest like that!”

Jesus replied, “If I’ve said something wrong, prove it. But if I’ve spoken the plain truth, why this slapping around?

John 18:19-23 (The Message Bible)

The police slap Jesus. Jesus does what He asked us to do. Jesus doesn’t retaliate. Jesus turns the other cheek. It will get slapped and more.

I need to pay attention to how Jesus handled all of this.

    • Persecution is real and it may be coming my way.
    • Jesus said it is true.
    • Jesus said I would be happy if it happens.
    • Am I ready?

I should expect to be persecuted. Jesus said it. it is normal for a disciple. Why? Because following Jesus and living in His righteousness threatens so many. Want to find out how threatening it is? Proclaim the truth to the “new atheists” and see what happens. Live in a socialist or communist country and follow Jesus.

We have gotten comfortable in the U. S. It is coming.

Happy [blessed] are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Fortunate [blessed] are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:10–12

The apostle Paul was jailed, beaten, shipwrecked, and stoned many times for preaching the Messiah, but he considered suffering not even worth mentioning compared to the reward he knew awaited in paradise.

    • 2 Timothy 3:12  —Indeed, all who desire to live godly in the Messiah Jesus will be persecuted.
    • Matthew 13:21  —Yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.
    • Mark 10:29–30  —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 sake of the good news, 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.
    • 1 Thessalonians 3:4  —For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know.