Saturday, October 08, 2016

Fresh Studies in Matthew: Matthew 5:10

In studying texts such as the Beatitudes, which were originally oral, we may find things that aren’t there.  Why does the tenth verse mirror the third (the bookends of the Beatitudes), both saying “the kingdom of God is theirs”?  In the tenth verse, the emphasis is “those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (big difference from persecution in general) are bless.” 
 Persecution per se is not the point, though laws should protect us from it.  If a person is discriminated against, should we care?  IS that a form of persecution?  Good question.  Yes, but that is not the message here.  Look elsewhere for the role of justice and just treatment.  The following verse adds “for my sake” or “because of me.”  Those persecuted for skin color or ethnicity or political views should not be ignored, and sometimes there is overlap, but this is focusing on those whose righteousness behavior and faith in Christ bring government attention and government power down on their heads. 

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