“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.” (Luke 6:26)
We’ve been thinking about how if we are boldly living as disciples of Jesus, we’ll get into a bit of trouble. At least, people will mutter about us or condemn us for rocking the boat. You can see this play out in the scriptures as Jesus and his followers go against the grain of the religious and political authorities. Again and again, the authorities speak against Jesus and his followers.
But this doesn’t mean that every time someone says something negative about me, it’s because I’m being an awesome follower of Jesus. If someone calls me a jerk, maybe it’s because I was a jerk (hypothetically speaking, of course). So how do we know when we’re being attacked in the “good way” or the “bad way”? The key comes in the blessing that matches this woe. It comes a few verses earlier in Luke. “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets” (Luke 6:22-23).
When people speak ill of us “on account of the Son of Man” then we know we’re in good company – the company of the saints through all time and history.
Have people defamed you? Was it because you were following Jesus?
Scott Gunn is an Episcopal priest and executive director of Forward Movement, a ministry that seeks to inspire disciples and empower evangelists. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his spouse, Sherilyn Pearce, who is also priest, and their social media canine, George T. Dog. Scott blogs at www.sevenwholedays.org.