Willing to Be Ridiculed: Matthew 5:11-12
““11) Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12) Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew‬ ‭5:11-12‬
Over the years, I have conducted numerous evangelism training workshops. The reason most Christians give for not sharing their faith is fear of rejection. Second is fear of ridicule. Notice, they both start with the word “fear.”
Yet Jesus said it is a blessing to have people cast insults at you for the sake of the gospel. Why? False accusations and persecution help focus attention on the message.
Paul discovered in Acts 21-22 that bystanders become an audience in the face of persecution. It opened to door for him to preach the gospel time and again.
Acts chapter 4 makes the case that earnest prayer, boldness and anointing grow out of persecution. The prayer meeting that spontaneously developed after the release of Peter and John was visited with a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The ground was shaken, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. (See Acts 4:29-31)
There are many fillings of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 says, “Be continually filled with the Holy Spirit.” Those who endure ridicule, name calling, public scorn or persecution for the sake of the gospel are often given special unction before the throne of grace.
Look at the prophets. They endured rejection from men, but they had VIP favor with God. Many of them had “God encounters” that were beyond description. If you doubt me, read again Ezekiel 1-3 or Daniel 9-12.
If you aspire to be a soldier in the Army of God, you better die to any fear of ridicule or name calling. Ephesians 6:10-20 is not for sissies!
Paul nailed it in witting to Timothy. Listen to his admonition; “3) Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4) No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” (2 Timothy‬ ‭2:3-4‬) If you want to live in your comfort zone don’t expect to experience the glories of the “God Zone.”
Verse twelve concludes by saying there is a great reward waiting for those willing to endure hardship for the sake of the gospel. Being despised by the world for the sake of godliness translates to honorable stature before God.
I confess, I enjoy award ceremonies at the end of grueling events in the Olympics. It takes years of training, discipline and dedication to get on the podium. The personal interest stories are often inspiring. Can you imagine the award ceremony when we all get to heaven?
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global