Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. Matthew 10:17-18
Jesus is telling the disciples that they will be persecuted. The people will hand them over to the authorities and they will be flogged. In all of this, it is done so that they may be a witness to governors and kings and the rest of the world.
Persecution is always looked at as a very bad thing to occur. No one wants to be persecuted and it is not easy to watch or hear about someone being persecuted. However, Jesus had a different view on it.
He starts out with stating that everyone who follows Him will be persecuted. The persecution would appear in the form of being handed over to authorities to be flogged. Being flogged is the process of being severely whipped with a strap that causes cuts and tears in the skin.
Jesus had been flogged before He went to the cross. As He was being flogged, He did not cry out or curse the people doing the flogging. In fact, while He was on the cross He asked God to forgive them. He showed true love.
As a believer, there will be times you will go through persecution. People will treat you wrong. They will say false things about you or twist what you say to make it sound wrong. This can be seen in today’s society when a person talks against various sinful acts that are accepted and promoted in America. Believers are called haters when they talk against certain sins.
When you are persecuted, you will have a choice. You can either strike back in anger. Or you can be a witness of God’s love and share the gospel message of love to those persecuting you. When you stand before an authority on a false accusation, it gives you the opportunity to speak to higher authorities about Jesus. It will give you the chance to speak to people who you normally would never see.
Do not fear being persecuted. God is with you and strengthen you. Use it as an opportunity to be a witness to more people. Seek God’s guidance in what to say and do when things are going bad for you.
I pray today that you will trust God in all situations; that you will not fear persecution for following Jesus; that you will be a witness of God’s love at all times; and that God will open more doors for you to be His witness.