Did not Jesus say that if they persecute you in one town, flee to the next (Matthew 20:23)? Persecuted means to pursue or chase away. How is that blessed? Why did Jesus call the persecuted blessed in Matthew 5:1-12? How can the harassed be blessed? Some estimate that 60% of Christians today live in countries with heavy restrictions on religious freedom and a quarter of us suffer severe mistreatment. How are we blessed? If that abuse is because of righteousness, then we identify with Jesus. If we cherish what is right, if we love God, if we love his Church, then we will be hated. Just as there is no half-pregnancy, this is also true: we are either on Jesus’ side or not. Persecution for righteousness is a sign that we are blessed to be on God’s side.
Why are we harassed if we do the right thing, like keeping the speed limit, supporting the boss or avoiding slander? In Matthew 5:1-12 Jesus said blessed are those who are persecuted for doing right. How does that work? It is a fact of life, that if we do the right thing, we will be insulted and vilified. It is a badge of honor to be abused for doing right. It confirms that we are on God’s side. In that sense it is a blessing. The opposite is also true. If everyone loves us and we are never mistreated, maybe we are doing something wrong. Unwanted attention like ridicule and torment is not always because we have done the right thing. Sometime we are at fault. However, when it does come because we were righteous, it is a blessing.