I Was Just Thinking About – INSULTS.
I suspect that all of us have been the object of an insult. The fact is that not everyone will like us all of the time. When disagreements arise, the person who thinks they have been offended in some way, may resort and respond with an insult that is intended to demean and/or marginalize the other person.
At the outset of the Sermon on the Mount, there are the Beatitudes. They are often thought of as the eight distinguishing behaviors of any follower of Jesus Christ. Some commentators give credence to the meaning of “Blessed” as how one can be “Perfectly Happy” in their walk in the Lord. The summary following the section designated as the Beatitudes is stated in Matthew 5:11-12, “Blessed are you when people INSULT you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you BECAUSE OF ME. Rejoice and celebrate, because great is your reward in heaven; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets before you.” What is the “insult” potential and possibility? The Dictionary Definition is: “to treat or speak to rudely; to offend; to affront.” The synonyms are telling: “to scorn, injure, abuse; treat with indignity; be inconsiderate toward another; treat contemptuously toward one who deserves respect. Barnes Notes amplifies Matthew 5:11 - “Blessed are you when men shall revile you – reproach you; call you by evil and contemptuous names, ridicule you. This is what people said of Jesus – that He was a Samaritan and had a devil (John 8:48); that He was mad (John 10:19-20); and in this way, they reviled and mocked Him on the cross.”
In Matthew 5:38-45, Jesus instructs His followers to behave in a very difficult way: “You have heard that it was said: Eye for eye and tooth for tooth. But I tell you not to resist an evil person. If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also; if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well; and if someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said: Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”
Will this behavior be easy to implement? No! Is this one’s normal reaction and response? No! Will it be easy to be injured in this way and to respond positively as Jesus instructed? No! Is it a positive reflexive response when one would rather retaliate? No! How can one be expected to do that which is contrary to human instincts and behavior? We have to believe, claim and implement II Corinthians 12:9 (personalized), God’s grace is sufficient for me, for His power is perfected in my weakness (He alone will cause the impossible to be possible for me).
Prayerfully – consider these things with me.