Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12)
Marketing and advertising appear to be based on the ability to identify the right areas for a service or a product and then get an expected end by appealing.
Jesus obviously didn’t get the memo about marketing and advertising.
There is no way you can offer persecution, being reviled and bad-mouthed and expect a receptive and eager response.
This is because Jesus isn’t selling anything. He is teaching His disciples what to expect when you follow Him and when you prefer the Kingdom of Heaven to the alternative.
It does highlight also how much of a difference living for the Kingdom is to living elsewhere. Living in the light of the Kingdom Identity – just being who you are in Christ – that has an effect. It has an effect on you because it is a different life – it is a different identity.
This is an identity fill of mournful humility, meekly desiring righteousness, and being merciful, pure and peaceful as an expression of who you are and to whose Kingdom you belong.
It is also an identity that contrasts sharply with alternative kingdoms. Being who you are in Christ necessarily aggravates those who actively seek to live otherwise. Jesus even indicates that there’s a track record for those who represent the status quo reacting poorly to a call to the heavenly way of life. That is not just an issue in the history of this particular people. This is a condition of humanity.
Is that something we take into consideration when we are encouraged to be who we are in Christ? Is that something we prepare for and embrace with the rejoicing that Jesus encourages? There’s evidence of the early church taking Him at His word and writers to the early church certainly reinforced that encouragement.
Is there evidence that this is still something that is encouraged today?
Oh, you were expecting me to answer the questions now?
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden