Matthew 5:12

12 1Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for 2so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:12 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 5:12

Rejoice and be exceeding glad
Because of the honour put upon them, the glory they bring to Christ and his cause, by cheerfully suffering for it; and because of the glory and happiness that shall follow upon their sufferings:

for great is your reward in heaven;
not of debt, but of grace; for there is no proportion or comparison between what the saints suffer for Christ, and the glory that shall be revealed in them by him; not in earth, but in heaven. Saints must not expect their reward here, but hereafter, when God himself will be their reward; he will be all in all; Christ and all his glory, glory and all the riches of it will be the reward of the inheritance, and which must needs be a "great" one. And the more to animate them to suffer with joyfulness, and to support them under all their reproaches and persecutions, it is added;

for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you;
as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah, and others; which shows, that what should befall them was no new and strange thing, but what had been the lot of the most eminent servants of God in former ages.

Matthew 5:12 In-Context

10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
13 "You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.
14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Acts 5:41; Romans 5:3; 2 Corinthians 12:10; Colossians 1:11, 24; Hebrews 10:34; James 1:2; 1 Peter 4:13
  • 2. See Matthew 21:35
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.