These verses continue Jesus' teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, immediately following the beatitudes described in Luke 6:20-21. In this passage, Jesus tells his disciples that they will be blessed when they are persecuted and rejected for their faith.
The phrase "because of the Son of Man" suggests that the disciples' persecution is not for their own sake, but rather because of their association with Jesus and his message. This reflects the idea that following Jesus can be a costly and difficult path, and that those who are faithful to him may face opposition and rejection from those who do not understand or accept his teachings.
Despite this opposition, Jesus tells his disciples to "rejoice in that day and leap for joy," because their reward in heaven will be great. This reflects the idea that the blessings of God's kingdom are not always immediately apparent or tangible, but rather are promises of future reward and fulfillment.
Finally, Jesus reminds his disciples that they are in good company, as their ancestors treated the prophets in much the same way. This reinforces the idea that persecution and rejection are not signs of God's disfavor, but rather are part of the cost of discipleship.
The phrase "because of the Son of Man" refers to Jesus himself, suggesting that the disciples will face persecution because of their allegiance to him and his teachings. This was certainly true for the early Christian community, which faced intense opposition from both Jewish and Roman authorities.
Despite the persecution and rejection, Jesus encourages his disciples to rejoice and be glad, because their reward in heaven will be great. This reward is not something that they will necessarily receive in this life, but rather is a promise of future blessings and fulfillment.
The final phrase, "for that is how their ancestors treated the prophets," connects the persecution of Jesus' disciples to the long history of prophetic witness in Israel. This suggests that the disciples are part of a larger tradition of faithful witness to God's truth and justice, and that their suffering is not meaningless but rather has a purpose and a context.
Overall, Luke 6:22-23 is a passage that encourages us to remain faithful to Jesus even in the face of persecution and rejection. It reminds us that our allegiance to Jesus may bring us into conflict with the world, but that this conflict is part of a larger story of God's redemption and renewal. It also reminds us that our suffering is not meaningless but rather has a purpose, and that our reward in heaven will be great.
Luke 6:22-23. Blessed are you when men shall hate you, and when they shall exclude and mock you, and throw out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven, for their fathers did the same thing to the prophets.