The Quandary of Hate for Love

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April 30, 2014

Matthew 5:10

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

CONSIDER THIS. . .

I had a professor in law school who loved to give names to particular conundrums or difficulties within the logic of the law or within a particular case. He loved the word, “quandary.” When I come across such places in Scripture I imagine what kind of moniker he might come up with. The text at hand poses such a dilemma. Let’s call it, “The Quandary of Hate for Love.”

One would imagine such a person as has been above described, so full of genuine humility, so unaffectedly serious, so mild and gentle, so free from all selfish design, so devoted to God, and such an active lover of men, should be the darling of mankind. But our Lord was better acquainted with human nature in its present state. He therefore closes the character of this man of God with showing him the treatment he is to expect in the world. “Blessed,” says he, “are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” p.55-56

So begins Wesley’s analysis on this 8th “beatitude” of THE SERMON. (Matthew 5-7)  The outcome of all of this goodness should shock us. It seems to us that one should be esteemed in the world for manifesting such noble character; doesn’t it? Instead we are promised just the opposite. At this point we will do well to emblazon six particular words onto our hearts: AS WITH JESUS, SO WITH US. The world hated Jesus. The world will hate us. (John 15:18-19)

Perhaps the most needful question we could ask ourselves is this one, “Why doesn’t the world hate us?” Deeper still, “Why doesn’t the world hate me?” Or try this one, “Why am I not being persecuted for righteousness sake?”

Anyone?

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J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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