“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 5:12)
When one of the presidential candidates was harassed at a campaign stop this week, one commentator said that it was actually not that bad of a thing for him, because it demonstrated to his voter base that “He has the right enemies.” In other words, having those particular people to oppose him meant that he was on the right track.
This is basically what Jesus is teaching here. When the enemies of God in this world persecute you, you can rejoice and be glad, because “you have the right enemies.” It demonstrates that you are on the right track.
Which should cause many of God’s people to evaluate ourselves: what does the complete LACK of opposition that characterizes our lives demonstrate, but that we are in some way missing the mark? Why are we not persecuted: is our gospel not offensive? Or is the sad truth that we are just not sharing it?!
What this demonstrates to many of us is that we are NOT on the right track: we are NOT witnessing as we should; we are NOT reaching out; we are NOT sharing uncomfortable truths; we are NOT penetrating our community with ministries that would change lives — but which would also call public attention to our “offensive” gospel.
What about you? Can you rejoice today because “you have the right enemies”? Or is your stand for the Lord so weak and ineffective that not even God’s enemies are offended by you?