I am a Jesus pusher!!! “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10). Persecution must be seen in the context of righteousness. There is a strong focus in the Beatitude on righteousness’ sake. It is an amazing statement. In many English translations the word “for” is there twice (Matthew 5:10). In the statement, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” the Greek word translated for is “hoti.” It introduces the object, content, or argument to which the preceding word refers. In our Beatitudes, “hoti” appears to give the reason or argument for the “congratulations.” In other words, congratulations go to the persecuted ones because they are the “kingdom of heaven.” But the statement “for righteousness’ sake” is a different word. Actually “for sake” is a translation of the Greek word “heneka” means “for this cause” or “for this reason.” Jesus clearly states why the persecuted one is suffering such treatment. It is because of righteousness. The Greek word “dikaiosune,” translated righteousness, is used both in the Old and New Testaments as the state commanded by God and standing the test of His judgment.
Any suffering outside this context is not considered “blessed.” The state of “blessed” is found in the merger between my helplessness and His resource. In this relationship I experience His redemptive flow intersecting with my world. This brings persecution because I express His righteousness. Any conflict results from my selfish preferences are not in this category. I must be filled with Him! I am a Jesus pusher!!!