25 Oct 2015 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are Those who are Persecuted because of Righteousness

Jesus’ first public sermon was recorded in the Gospels of Matthew (Matthew 5) and Luke (Luke 6).  His eighth blessing from God, called the “Beatitudes,” that Matthew recorded was:

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

In an earlier post we’ve already looked at what the word “righteousness” means. If you missed that one, I recommend going and reading that post first. For this verse, I want to take a closer look at what “persecution” means. In the original Greek, it is διώκω and is transliterated “diókó” (pronounced dee-o’-ko), which means to “persue with haste” or “aggressively chase.”  It can be used in a positive way, such as to “earnestly pursue,” or a negative way, such as to “zealously hunt down” or “earnestly desire to apprehend.”

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25 May 2015 Then Jesus said to him, “Away, Satan! for it is in the writings, give worship to the Lord your God, and be his servant only."

Give Worship to the Lord your God and be His Servant Only

Again in Matthew 4, Jesus had his final test against Satan in the wilderness. The Evil One took Jesus to the top of a very high mountain.  They looked out over all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. The devil then said to Jesus,

“All these things will I give you, if you will go down on your face and give me worship.”

We learn from this two things: first, that the devil actually has power on earth to be able to offer the world to Jesus.  Second, that he is depravedly arrogant to think that he could get Jesus to bow and worship him.
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