The final Beatitude in Matthew is longer than the others: “ 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.” It is similar to the one right before it: “ Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” except that Jesus clarifies the reason for the potential persecution; it’s not merely for righteousness’ sake–not just for doing good in the world; it’s because we name His Name.
This poem is written in trochaic heptameter: /x/x/x/x/x/x/, form AABB.
“When Men Shall Revile You”
Scorned, derided object of the culture’s rumor mill,
Laughed at, mocked, and ridiculed and all because you still
Held to One Who holds to you with scarred and nail-pierced hand.
One Who prophesied this persecution for your stand.
Yes, you knew that, as His servant, such would be the case,
For your Master, long before you, suffered like disgrace,
And the prophets faced the same mistreatment in their day–
When the world shot messengers for what they came to say.
So it’s not surprising when it happens now to you,
That the world should find anathema what you hold true–
Always, it has crucified the ones who love His Name–
Celebrate, rejoice, be glad! when it treats you the same.