Seeking God First: A Study on the Sermon of the Mount
Blessed are those who are Persecuted Matthew 5:10-12
June 3, 2018
Pastor John Lloyd
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expresses His desire for us to live for Him in an upside down world. This greatest sermon ever given, is uplifting, yet challenges us to live a life with Jesus that is far better than any other! It is our prayer that you will be encouraged and challenged by studying and applying this great sermon to your life. Small groups are also available throughout the week to further discuss and put into practice the lessons taught from the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 5:3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 4.God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied. 7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Philippians 1:29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
You start with the kingdom of heaven and you end with it. They all get blessings, but our Lord started and ended with this particular promise in order to impress upon His listeners that the important thing was the membership of the kingdom of heaven.
Big Idea: A kingdom mindset towards tribulation/persecution brings great rewards and enduring peace.
I. Mindset check: You will experience trials/persecution.
Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. John 16:33, 2 Timothy 3:12
“Do not be afraid of a few scars for His sake.” Adoniram Judson
I Peter 4:1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
Strange to say and a general paradox to all the designations of the godly thus far used, in particular also of the last, peacemakers, these people, loving and working for peace, shall themselves be accorded the opposite of peace in this warring world. Lenski
Godly people have gone through trials: Job, Daniel, Joseph, Paul, Jesus.
Action Item: Help me to deal with any false ideals I have about trial/persecution.
How should you react to trials/persecution?
II. Mindset check: Trials have eternal advantages.
Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
This beatitude casts a special glamour over it, making one welcome persecution when it comes. Come it will as the Lord here intimates.
The tense of this text is different from the other texts because they showed more of an inner attitude. They did not flee persecution but willingly submitted to it when it came to them. They have stood firm in trials. Lenski
James 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
A. Mindset check: Look beyond the trial to the reward.
Matthew 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 2 Cor. 4:17-18
Hebrews 11:26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.
Key Belief: Whatever may have been taken will be made up in heaven.
Romans 8:18, 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
B. Mindset check: Don’t allow bitterness/resentment to rule you.
Matthew 5:12b For so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Luke 23:34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. Eph. 4:31-32, Ps.130:3
Mirror theology vs. Window theology
Our hearts should break for those who are persecuting us.
III. Mindset Check: Set your wings higher.
Matthew 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Acts 5:41, Phil 2:5
Three things should govern us: Who I am, my consciousness of where I am going, and my knowledge of what awaits me when I get there. E.Jones
Hebrews 12:2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Philippians 1:29
“The wounds and hurts are medals of honor. They attest we belong to Christ not to the world.” Lenski
Prayer: Lord help me not to retaliate or live in resentment.
Please bring me to a place in which I do not resent persecution.
Help me to rise above it with your help! I look to you!
Growth Group Questions for June 3rd
Icebreaker: Share what comes to your mind when you hear trial and persecution.
1. Read Matthew 5:3-12. Discuss how the eight beatitudes build on each other. What is it surprising that a persecution beatitude is followed with being a peacemaker?
2. Read Matthew 5:10, John 16:33, 2 Tim. 3:12, I Peter 4:13-14. Write down what each one says about persecution/trials. How are they similar and different? What are they teaching?
3. What is right or wrong with this quote: “I am living for God so I should not have bad things/trials happen to me.” What are some pitfalls to avoid in dealing with persecution?
4. Read Matthew 5:11-12. How can one be blessed when these things are happening? What three reasons does Jesus give in 5:12? Which one speaks to you the most?
5. Read Matthew 5:44, Luke 23:34, Job 42:8. How did Jesus deal with those who persecuted him? Describe the importance of prayer in changing our mindset. Lloyd Jones- Our hearts should break for those who are persecuting us. Why is resentment and retaliation such a great foe in our souls?
6. Read Hebrews 11:26-27, 12:2, 2 Cor.4:17-18. Jesus tells us to rejoice for our reward is great in heaven. How did Moses, Jesus and Paul adjust their attitude towards persecution? What adjustments do you need to make? How could God use my trial for a greater witness?
7. What is a difficult trial you are facing? Reach out for prayer and God’s help to navigate through it.
Matthew 5:12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.