“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”(Matthew 5:10)

Jesus was already thinking about the last week of His life when He would be killed by a religious leader who felt threatened by His life and teachings. Jesus told those who follow Him, “A disciple is not above his teacher”(Matthew 10:24). Those who follow Jesus can expect to be attacked by people who feel threatened by the truth.

Today thousands of believers around the world experience severe beatings, imprisonment, and even death because they stand up for Jesus Christ. In our culture, our lives are seldom threatened, but we may suffer ridicule when we stand up for righteousness’s sake. When we choose to do right for Jesus Christ’s sake, many will cheer, but some will ridicule us unmercifully.

Jesus Christ promises the Kingdom of Heaven to those who follow His example. He tells us that when we are ridiculed or worse for following Him, we will experience His presence, peace, and strength. The price of obedience is sometimes steep, but the reward is sweet.