Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 5
October 28, 2007
22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.
23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
1901 ASV Translation:
22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.
23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy: for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for in the same manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
- I. Being Rejected by Men For the Sake of the Son of Man.
- A. They shall "hate" you. This is an attack upon the "spirit" of man where the issue of "value" (love/hate) is most prominent. It is no small thing.
- B. They shall "isolate" you. This is an attack upon the "soul" of man where the issue of relational harmony is most prominent. It is a significant challenge to faith.
- C. They shall "reproach" you. This word is used whenever a person criticizes another for a "fault". It carries an automatic assumption that the "failure" should not have taken place and is worthy of, minimally, verbal criticism. This is the "justification" for their treatment of those they "hate" and "reject". It is a return to the assault upon the spirit.
- D. They shall "cast out your name as evil." This is the final assault: identifying one as an "evil" person. Interestingly, there is no mention in this four-fold list of anything of a physically abusive nature. Apparently Jesus/Luke determined to focus only upon the issues that affect the mind and emotions. These are not small or impotent areas. There is a built-in sense of inequity in man -- especially when it affects him/her. When others exercise this inequity in an egregious manner, the wound goes very deep because it goes to the core of how we deal with what others think of us. As amazing as it is, what others think of us is a profoundly potent matter. Jesus taught the use of it as the "final" step in church discipline; Paul also insisted upon it as the act of last resort when resolution of conflict is rejected. If we sort out what is chaff and what is grain, even the original "Sin" had its roots in the lust for a "greater regard".
- E. Three of the four actions (hate, reproach, and malign) are directly associated with "spirit" issues -- actions that target the values men hold because they are creatures of spirit. It may be that the fourth (isolation) is also of this group in that the issue may not be so much the need of the soul for security as it is the need of the spirit for approval: isolation is a statement of one's "unworthiness" to associate with "us". By themselves, none of these things means much until we understand just how potent is the issue of the spirit's need for relational acceptance on the basis of equity.
- II. The Consequential Blessing of God: Your Reward is Great in Heaven.