January 27, 2014

Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”

 

Changing the narrative from third person to second person is a great literary technique. Third person is “he, she, it, them.” The Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount are in the third person- Blessed are those who are poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn, etc. It makes it all so theoretical, so “over there somewhere.” Those people are that way. Jesus ends in verse ten saying, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Then comes the change. All of a sudden in verse 11, above, it is not about those other people over there (really it never has been) but Jesus is talking to me. It is almost as if he had been preaching, waxing poetic and gazing off into the distance, and then turns and looks directly into my eyes to say this last bit. Now the stakes have risen, this isn’t theory, this is Jesus and me and a hard truth and what am I going to do about it. And now it is Jesus and you and a hard truth… and what are you going to do about it…

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