Finally, Jesus called blessed those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness. Obviously, He was speaking of people who are living righteously, not just those who think that Christ’s righteousness has been imputed to them. People who obey Christ’s commandments are the ones whom nonbelievers persecute. They will inherit God’s kingdom.
What kind of persecution was Jesus talking about? Torture? Martyrdom? No, He specifically listed being insulted and spoken against on His account. This again indicates that when a person is a true Christian, it is obvious to nonbelievers, otherwise nonbelievers wouldn’t say evil things against him. How many so-called Christians are so indistinguishable from nonbelievers that not a single unbeliever speaks against them? They are not really Christians at all. As Jesus said, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for in the same way their fathers used to treat the false prophets” (Luke 6:26). When all men speak well of you, that’s a sign that you’re a false believer. The world hates true Christians (see also John 15:18-21; Gal. 4:29; 2 Tim. 3:12; 1 John 3:13-14).