By Arla, Aug 29 2019 01:00AM
As Jesus explains the paradox of true happiness, the people are amazed because they believe honor and possessions are the highest happiness. His words are certain, strong, Spirit-activated. But they sound opposite of what they know, what they've been taught--at least counter-intuitive.
Now Jesus looks directly at his disciples, knowing the discouragement they will feel from opposition and rejection because of him.
"Happy are those who are persecuted for doing right, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men hate you, persecute you, and lie about you because of me. Such men persecuted the prophets. Be joyful because a great reward awaits you in heaven."
In this huge cosmic war between good and evil, relationship with God brings hatred from those who reject Him. But this path was walked by God's finest. Knowing this, you can choose joy because you can, certain that God will use every disappointment for good. Focus your desire on God's approval. Jesus' love draws you unless you resist.
Resisting God's love makes for disturbed religion. You either go to war with yourself or you war against truth. Either way you are at war.
"You are the salt of the earth": the blessings and protection given God's people flavor, preserve and protect the world.
"You are the light of the world": your true self helps others see God. Not your perfection--your reality. Let them see God's perfection--that His saving graciousness is like sunshine and rain, not just for some, but for the whole world.