I am a Jesus pusher!!! “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:12). The statement of Jesus is “Rejoice (chairo) and be exceedingly glad (agalliao)!” These two Greek words are often used together in the New Testament. The Greek word “chairo,” translated rejoice, expresses less intensity than the Greek word “agalliao.” This combination heightens the expression of what is to be experienced. “Agalliao,” translated be exceedingly glad, comes from the combination of two Greek words. The first is “agan” meaning “much.” The second is “halomai” meaning “to leap.” Sometimes it is translated “to be glad” (Acts 2:26). This places our rejoicing on a level of “dancing for joy.” It is joy “over the top” and “off the charts.” This is not a token joy but a genuine, soul-gripping, ever present, and abiding result of His presence. Persecution cannot eliminate or deaden it! Rejoice and dance for joy!
In this process, Jesus gives us reasons for such joy. We have been highlighting “For the Sake of Jesus.” In a real sense, Jesus becomes the cause of the persecution. It is a “declaration of His priority” in my life. I must allow Him to be who He is within me. This requires a cross. I must abandon all to live in His presence. Persecution becomes the privilege of having Him my high priority. Also, it is a “declaration of my personal linkage” with Him. Persecution for His sake comes from intimacy with Him. It is neither the church program nor its doctrine; it is Jesus. I want to suffer for His sake. I am a Jesus pusher!!!