Blessed Are You When Men Hate You

Jesus and pharisees 2This week the world once again witnessed the twisted combination of religion and hatred. Innocent lives were lost and many others felt threatened. The immediate reaction of the world was defiance.

Jesus warned us that we would sometimes be hated. “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and cast insults at you, and spurn your name as evil, for the sake of the son of Man.” (Lk.6:22) Hatred isn’t always violent; it can manifest itself by insults and giving people the cold shoulder. Nobody likes to be hated; we all want people to like us. But we can’t control what other people do. Sometimes hatred happens because people lump us together in their minds with abusive religions that have hurt them, or maybe people are simply afraid of what they don’t understand. Whatever the reasons, we need to expect that people will occasionally hate us.

Jesus told us what to do when it happens. Instead of becoming defiant like the world tends to do, we’re told to “be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven.” (Lk.6:23) The threats of men cannot destroy our reward in heaven. God knows what we go through, and He will reward us for our persistence. We’re also to remember that “in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.”We are in elite company when people hate us. The great prophets of the Bible were all treated shamefully. Hatred doesn’t mean we are doing something wrong; it means we are faithful.

– Tim Johnson