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Persecution, Suffering, Discipleship

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To follow Jesus means self-denial and a willingness to suffer, and for disciples, persecution is the highest honor  –  Matthew 5:10-12 .  For his disciples, retaliation and violence are  NOT  appropriate reactions when persecution occurs. Rather than respond-in-kind, they must meet threats with humility, mercy, and especially love. That is what it means to “ deny yourself ” and “ take up his cross .” Praying for one’s “ enemies ” is contrary to the “ wisdom of this age ,” but it epitomizes the paradigm of  Christ crucified  - [ Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash ].