“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake. . . ” – Q&A #5

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Question: Did Jesus suffer persecution?

Answer: A study of the four Gospels in the Bible will show that Jesus, when the time was right, willingly put himself into the hands of those who hated him. Jesus was crucified — his body nailed to a cross and left to die. He could have saved himself from that ordeal, but
chose not to. Why? Mary Baker Eddy explains:

“Was it just for Jesus to suffer? No; but it was inevitable, for not otherwise could he show us the way and the power of Truth.” (S&H 40)

“The efficacy of the crucifixion lay in the practical affection and goodness it demonstrated for
mankind. The truth
had been lived among men; but until they saw that it enabled their Master to
triumph over the grave, his own disciples could not admit such an event to be possible.” (S&H 24)

“Our Master bore the cross to show his power over death.” (Mis. 63)

The symbol of the cross has come down through the centuries to represent this great
sacrifice of Jesus:

“Without the cross and healing, Christianity has no central emblem, no history.” (Mis. 357)

Jesus expected his followers to take up their own cross:

“He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” (Matt. 10)

In another lesson, we’ll learn what that means.

Further Study: Read John 15:17-25 for Jesus’ words on persecution.

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Two: The Beatitudes”
Copyright 2002)

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Righteousness - #5

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