Last week I gave myself a little blogging break. I had a sermon to prepare for yesterday and I just didn’t have any head room for anything else. I love having the privilege of preaching at my church but it is also nice to have the breathing room afterwards.
Here is my Jesus memory verse for the week:
Cheerful one, eh?
OK, so this memory verse is kind of grim, and takes a swift turn away from the ‘blessed are the meek…peacemakers..etc..’. Suddenly Jesus is making a prediction about the future of the people who are going to put their faith in Him.
Remember, that historians tend to place this sermon towards the beginning of His ministry. It’s curious that a charismatic public speaker who is about to launch a new movement that will span the Roman Empire and continue over 2000 years later, would begin by promising His followers insults, persecution and slander.
You would think that would scare most people off. And yet history tells us that there were a dedicated early group of believers who stuck with Him, and these were the men and women who continued to follow Him after His Crucifixion. They traveled the world telling people about Jesus and leading others to believe in Him too. And they faced every obstacle Jesus predicted here; they were misunderstood, insulted, falsely arrested, hounded by mobs, and all but one of the Disciples were martyred for their faith.
So why did they do it? Why not just not be religious? Why not stay home, mind your own business and not get involved in all this trouble?
‘Because of me’ That’s what Jesus says, you will face all this trouble, ‘because of me’. They faced every difficulty the world could throw at them because it was for Jesus. They believed Jesus was worth it. That thought shakes me up. Faith in Jesus is costly and it seems to me that the people who pay the highest price are the ones who recognize Jesus’ true worthiness.