BLESSED are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
For the persecuted church around the world:
IN THE FACE of persecution, Jesus’ followers have two reasons to rejoice and be glad. First, they know that God rewards those who suffer for their faith, and that their reward will indeed be great in heaven. … The second reason Jesus’ followers can rejoice in tribulation is that they stand in good company: In the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you, Jesus says.
Richard B. Gardner, Matthew
For those enjoying a persecution-free life:
ONE WONDERS why Christians today get off so easily. Is it because unchristian Americans are that much better than unchristian Romans, or is our light so dim that the tormentor can’t see it? What are the things we do that are worth persecuting?
Clarence Jordan, Sermon on the Mount
Quotes compiled by R. Kauffman and found on Christianity Today’s web site.