I am a Jesus pusher!!! From the first Beatitude Jesus advocates an intimate relationship with Him. One by one the Beatitudes highlight an aspect of this relationship. My helplessness is matched with the unlimited resource of His person; together we become the Kingdom of Heaven. Mourning is my constant response to the embrace of the Comforter. We know meekness in intimacy with His nature. The more I hunger and thirst for His mind and heart, the more He reveals Himself to me. I dwell in His mercy, purity, and peace. All of these Beatitudes are mere descriptions of an intimate relationship with Him. Jesus also advocates a second truth from the first Beatitude. Through this relationship everything He is will be manifested in us. His mind will become our mind; His heart will become our heart. We will become the visible image of His person in our world. We are people of mercy because we dwell in the embrace of His mercy. We have pure hearts because He who is pure dwells in us. We are peacemakers because we dwell in His peace. As this takes place, the way the world treated Him is the way the world will treat us. It is inevitable; we will be persecuted.
Now we must consider “severe persecution.” This is the only Beatitude that has more than one verse. Jesus expands this Beatitude with two additional verses to address persecution. He begins with “Blessed are those who are persecuted” (Matthew 5:10). Remember that the verb is in the perfect tense that translates “have been persecuted.” He emphasizes this again in the next verse by saying, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you” (Matthew 5:11). This is further stressed in the following verse, “So they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:12). This is a severe of message. It is not a trite issue to be a Jesus pusher!!!