11 “Blessed 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 great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Do you think that Jesus was excited to share this message with his disciples? We don’t know for sure what happened to many of them, but tradition says that things got pretty ugly for the disciples when Jesus transcended. Jesus, who knew this, shared this message. He wanted to let his disciples know that they were blessed because of their suffering. He knew they would hurt because of their devotion to him, and I wonder if it pained him to know what they were going to go through.
We like to elevate the disciples, and most people in the Bible, because they made it into the book. It’s easy to forget how typical they were. They seem so exceptional because they did the right things (except they didn’t), they always had the right answer (except they didn’t), and they never failed Jesus (except for all the time). They must have done something good though because they made it into the book. I wonder if they got the same advice as I did growing up, “Live like the Bible is still being written.”
I think that it probably does hurt Jesus to think about us suffering because of how much we love him, but I also think he’s proud to know that we’re doing the right thing because of him too. I think he’s proud that we love each other before all other things. I think he’s proud when we stand up for our sisters who are being left behind. I think he hurts when people tell lies about our brothers. I think he was thinking about you when he said “Blessed are you when people insult you.” I think he knows how typical you are, but he also knew how typical his friends on the mountain were. That’s kind of the thing about Jesus, he can make typical people into wonderful people. He can make a morning devotional into a turning point. And he can make an insult into a blessing.