11 Happy are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because your reward is great in the heavens; for in this way they persecuted the prophets before you.
We continue to look at the blessings that Jesus confers on the persecuted. In particular looking at the verbal abuse that Jesus tells us all believers should expect.
Once again Jesus tells us that there is blessing in being persecuted.
He begins by telling us to expect to be reviled, or insulted.
The old saying is that someone says: “I didn’t come here to be insulted”, to which someone replies: “Why, where do you normally go?”
To be insulted means to be treated with scorn, insolence, or great disrespect. This is something that often is seen in children in the way in which they speak about other children that they do not like. However, we know that the same insulting talk does spread into adulthood.
To insult somebody is to verbally attack them. Jesus says that believers in Him should expect this. He also experienced the insults of the crowds and religious leaders, in particularly as He was on the cross.
And the people stood there watching. Then the rulers also mocked Him saying: “He saved others, if He really is the Christ of God, the Chosen One, let Him save Himself” – Luke 23.35.
A person who insults another person is being rude and arrogant. This is something that the followers of Jesus must avoid doing.
There are a number of occasions in the Old Testament when the men of God were subject to the insults of others.
Gideon was one.
In Judges chapter 8 Gideon was going into battle against Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.
First he asked for provisions from Sukkoth, who refused him, because Gideon had not yet captured Zebah and Zalmunna.
Secondly he made the same request to the men at Peniel, who also refused him with taunts.
In verse 12 we read: Zebah and Zalmunna, the two Midianite kings, fled, but Gideon chased them down and captured all their warriors – (NLT).
Following his success we read in verse 15:
Gideon then returned to Succoth and said to the leaders, “Here are Zebah and Zalmunna. When we were here before, you taunted me, saying, ‘You haven’t caught Zebah and Zalmunna yet. Catch them first, and then we will feed your exhausted warriors’” – (NLT).