Further examination reveals how Christ fulfilled the characteristics of the Beatitudes in His own life before calling us to follow His example.
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” KJV, Matthew 5:9-12, emphasis added.
Jesus was the Prince of Peace. He never allowed anything to rob Him of His peace. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid…. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” KJV, John 14:27; 16:33.
The peace that Jesus offers us, and we in turn ought to offer to others, is the peace that comes from being reconciled with God. “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” KJV, 2 Corinthians 5:18-21, emphasis added.
Jesus and His prophets were persecuted for righteousness’ sake. His disciples, as His servants, would be treated no better than their Master and Lord (Matthew 10:24-26). Paul wrote, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” KJV, 2 Timothy 3:12. Yet we must persevere in obtaining the perfection of character resulting from possessing all the blessings Christ pronounced upon those who would overcome as He overcame.
“The disciples of Christ will be fitted by His grace for every trial and test as he strives for perfection of character. By looking away from Jesus to some other one, or to something else, he may sometimes make mistakes; but as soon as he is warned of his danger, he again fastens his eyes upon Jesus, in whom his hope of eternal life is centered, and he plants his feet in the footprints of his Lord, and travels on securely. He rejoices, saying, ‘He is my living intercessor before God. He prays in my behalf. He is my advocate, and clothes me with the perfection of His own righteousness. This is all I require to enable me to bear shame and reproach for His dear name’s sake. If he permits me to endure persecution, He will give me grace and the comfort of His presence, so that His name shall be thereby glorified.'” ( The Review and Herald, May 12, 1896, emphasis added.)
(Part 3 concluded.)