Blessed are the Persecuted and the Insulted

Matthew 5: 10-12

10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The Message

10“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

11-12“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church,”


Even though we are not experiencing this type of persecution in the United States, the Bible says that we are all to be a part of the suffering as Christians.

Hebrews 13:3

3Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

I Corinthians 12: 12-14

12The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.

I Corinthians 12: 26-27

26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

The persecution and penalties suffered by early Christians were terrible. History tells us that some Christians were fed to lions and burned at the stake. Nero bound Christians to stakes, wrapped them in pitch, and set them on fire to be living torches to light his gardens. Some had hot lead poured on their bodies; red hot objects placed on the most tender parts of their bodies; parts of their bodies cut off and roasted before their very eyes; eyes torn out; hands and feed burned while cold water was poured on them to extend their agony.

2000 years ago Jesus the Christ was Crucified

Romans 8:17

Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

AD 23 John The Baptist is Beheaded

AD 34 Stephen is stoned

AD 45 James is beheaded

AD 54 Phillip is stoned

AD 64 Barnabas is burned to death

AD 64 Mark is beaten to death

AD 69 Paul is beheaded

AD 69 Peter is crucified upside down

AD 70 Andrew is crucified

AD 70 Simon the Zealot is crucified

AD 70 Apostle Matthew is crucified

AD 93 Luke is hanged

AD 95 Antipas is roasted alive

AD 97 John the Apostle is exiled to Patmos

AD 111 Ignatius is thrown to the lions

AD 168 Polycarp is burned to death

AD 925 thirteen year old Pelagius is killed

All these people were killed for their beliefs

Matthew 5; 11-12 –

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

II Timothy 3:12

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

Romans 5: 3-5

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Galatians 2: 20

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Philippians 1:21

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

While many of us practice our faith in safety, Christians all over the world, in rare instances even in the United States, have been and continue to suffer because of their commitment to Jesus Christ.

According to The World Mission Digest, in the Twentieth Century close to 100 million people were martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ. This figure may be greater than the number of people martyred in all the previous 19 centuries combined.

The Global Evangelization Movement reports an average of 165,000 Christian Martyrs per year

In the Communion Liturgy of The United Methodist Church we pray this:

Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here,

and on these gifts of bread and wine.

Make them to be for us the body and blood of Christ,

that we may be for the world the body of Christ,

redeemed by His blood.

By your Sopirit make us one with Christ,

one with each other,

and one in ministry to all the world,

until Christ comes in final victory

and we feast at His heavenly banquet.

As one body we must remember those who are in prison and those who are suffering for their faith as if we too are suffering.

Hebrews 13:3

3Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

Meditate on these verses for a while: I Peter 3: 14-17

14But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” 15But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

Jesus never attempted to hide the cost of following Him

Luke 6: 22

Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.

Currently in the United States there are no formal liabilities for following and Proclaiming the Name of Jesus Christ.

So what are some ways that our lives are disrupted today by the fact that we follow Christ?

Criticism from peers for not going along with the cultural norms

Choosing to put God 1st before anything; sports, boyfriend, girlfriend, hunting, pursuit of money, worldly goods

Deciding not to have any idols, ie, the things that you place before God

Not taking God’s name in vain

Choosing to take a sabbath day

Honor your father and mother

Not committing murder with our tongue – slander of someones character

Choosing to stay sexually pure – sex outside of the Covenant of marriage has consequences

Choosing not to steal even in the least of things

Choosing to be honest even when the truth hurts

Being satisfied and content with what we have and not desiring what our neighbor has

A Christian choosing not to use alcohol

A Christian choosing not to have sex outside the covenant of marriage

The 10 Commandments

This is how we are mainly persecuted today in The United States. We are made fun of because we don’t go along with the ways of the world. We are called names and many times avoided or left out of fun things because people know that we are Christians and we don’t follow cultural norms but Christ Norms


At the following link, you can find the names of people who are currently being help prisoner for having Faith in Jesus Christ. Please make these people a part of your prayer life.

For more information on those Christians around the world who are suffering because of their faith in Jesus Christ go to

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