I am a Jesus pusher!!! The Beatitude on persecution is uniquely different from all the rest. This is not an intervention of Jesus producing something wonderful in our lives; persecution is sourced from the evil of another kingdom. The Greek word “dioko,” translated “who are persecuted” is in the passive voice. This means they are not the source of the persecution; they do not do the action of persecution. They receive the action from another. It is in this Beatitude that Jesus sets the stage for the rest of His discourse. We are going to be salt in the midst of a flavorless world (Matthew 5:13). Our lives will shine like light in a dark world (Matthew 5:14). All the law of the Old Covenant, which was sourced by self-doing, is fulfilled in this New Covenant relationship. Self will not easily relinquish its hold (Matthew 5:17). Throughout the Sermon on the Mount Jesus continues to contrast the state of dwelling in Him, and He in you, with the world that wants to live out of itself. There are two kingdoms opposed to each other. Persecution is sourced from an evil kingdom.
Do not become so enamored with the wonder of the kingdom of heaven that you are surprised at opposition. The two kingdoms are certainly not equal in power. We are not fighting a losing battle. All Jesus describes in the wonder of His presence is far more than adequate for complete victory. Just be aware of the enemy. But focus on Jesus! I am a Jesus pusher!!!