Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner
of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your
reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Question: How does this Beatitude differ from the previous one, which was also about
Answer: Some Bible commentaries do suggest that this Beatitude is merely a repeat of the previous one, intended to give it emphasis. However, in the light of the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy, there appears to be a difference.
The eighth Beatitude tells us we will be “persecuted for righteousness’ sake,” that is, because of the good we express. This can happen to anyone who strives to be honest and pure in their lives. But, some people, after reaching a point where they have developed both morally and spiritually, are ready to take on the commands of Jesus to go out in the world and preach the gospel and heal the sick. This kind of activity — preaching, teaching, healing, or prophesying — seems to bring forth even more persecution! Sometimes just taking a public stand for our religion brings on this kind of persecution or ridicule.
“To suppose that persecution for righteousness’ sake belongs to the past, and that Christianity
to-day is at peace with the world because it is honored by sects and societies, is to mistake the very
nature of religion. Error repeats itself. The trials encountered by prophet, disciple, and apostle, ‘of whom the world was not worthy,’ await, in some form, every pioneer of truth.” (S&H 28)
Practice: Can you think of any times your family may have been persecuted?
* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Two: The Beatitudes”
To read more about this book and blog, please see the “About” page (use link at top of page). To receive these weekday posts via email, locate the “Follow” button and sign up. You can also go to the “Contact Me” page and send a request to sign up and I’ll send an invitation with a link to join.
Go to the “Beatitudes” page (use link at top of page), to read previous posts, plus introductory and background material to help in teaching the lessons.
To print out the image below, which is from the original book, click on the image and save to your computer. To read explanation on how to use these “clip and carry” lessons, see the “About” page.