Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they cut you off, and will reproach you, and will cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man;Luke 6:22-23
rejoice in that day, and leap for joy; for, behold, your reward is much in Heaven! For their fathers did according to these things to the prophets. (LITV)Luke 6:22-23
I have chosen the Literal Version this time in order to bring out some significant elements in the text. But first let’s note the contrast in this verse. How odd! How far beyond human reasoning this verse is.
|When||men hate you||in that day||rejoice|
|When||men cut you off||leap for joy|
|reproach and revile you|
|cast out your name as evil|
|on account of the Son of Man||rejoice for your reward is in heaven|
Hated, ostracized, reviled and your name used as something evil but you are supposed to rejoice and leap for joy!
Pardon me; run that by me again. What do I have to do when I am hated, outlawed, had insults heaped on me and my name spoken as a by-word for evil?
And why would I do that again?
Because when you are associated with the Son of Man great is your reward in heaven!
Well if you did that literally, people’s attention would surely be captured. They would be talking about it for years to come let me tell you. “Hey when we poured out hatred and banished him, slandering him with all the names we could think of and calling him an xxxx Christian, do you know what he did? He got really excited and start jumping around for joy. As we kept going it seemed to make him even happier. I tell you these Christians sure are weird man.”
What a remarkable verse! Divine favour rests on the one who because of the Son of Man is:
- Hated – detest, hate, persecute . . .
- Cut off – separated, taken away, excluded, excommunicated, divided, limited, severed, rejected, ostracized, driven out, outlawed, barred, banned, had the door shut in the face . . .
- Reproached – reviled, had insults heaped on, denounced, insulted, defamed, taunted, railed at, called for everything under the sun. . .
- Whose name is cast out – eject, expel, pluck out, pull, send away . . .
And why does this all happen? Because of your association with the Son of Man. I would recommend you do some digging on the term the Son of Man. I will address the significance and meaning later but not now. Time for you to dig into the term.
Note the two occurrences of “when” [hotan]. This emphasizes the fact it’s a certainty it will happen. These reactions are to be expected. They will be a frequent happening. Not, IF it happens but WHEN it happens. If it happened to Him it will happen to us too on one level or another. When it happens, in that day it happens, rejoice and leap for joy.
There is a debate as to what is meant by “cast your name out”. Whose name is meant here? The name of the “Son of Man” or the name of the individual disciples? I should imagine if you are a Christian you will know what is meant. I believe it refers to the name they were known by. That does not mean each one’s own personal name but the collective name of Christian, bearing the name of Christ. Because of the name of Christ we face, and they faced, insults. It is the name “Christian” and “Christ” that attracts so much opposition and venom, hatred and rejection despite the fact that He came to bring good news, to heal the sick, free the demon possessed and bring salvation. Why should it be that One who comes on such a noble cause should be reviled so vehemently and rejected? It’s simple really. The devil hates that name because in it there is salvation and the way God will restore all mankind. Christ and Jesus are names that are synonymous with God’s plan of redemption. Jesus Christ has been been given the name that is above every name – LORD, synonymous with YHWH, that name no God respecting Jew would dare to take on their lips and would substitute with Adonai (or LORD). This Paul says is the name that is above every name. (Phil 2:9-11). Isn’t it obvious that Satan does not want this name to be the name that is above every name. Nothing else explains why the name of Jesus Christ should be used as a swear word and rejected the world over. It doesn’t make sense unless you look at it in spiritual terms. There is a spiritual battle going on over that name and all it stands for.
One further interpretation of the exclusion, excommunicated sense in the word above is that Jews were excommunicated from the synagogue if they followed that name. It may also have that sense, but in my opinion it is a worldwide phenomena indicating it is far more than just a Jewish thing. Besides Jesus tells us in John 15:18-21 that this will happen:
- “If the world hates you, remember that it hated Me first.
- The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.
- Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted Me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to Me, they would listen to you.
- They will do all this to you because of Me, for they have rejected the One who sent Me.”
Be prepared for the onslaught if you want to follow the Christ. To hold you in the midst of the outpouring of hate remember that your reward in heaven is great. Of course takes great resilience of faith to look to the reward in heaven in the midst of persecution and beatings on earth. The persecution is real but so too is the reward. Rejoice and leap for joy because your reward is that much greater if you have been deemed worthy to suffer for the Name.
If we are not hated by someone, we don’t know enough people, or we don’t speak enough truth.John Piper
A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with bricks others have thrown at him.Anon
Where hate is involved the hater always loses more than the hated.Anon
If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend you hate.Nikka, age 6