v 11 God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.
Called and warned.
How about this for a direct warning about following Jesus! You could become the butt of jokes, the recipient of untruthful criticism, and even on the receiving end of unwarranted violence. Maybe over the years you have already experienced something of this antagonism and have felt the pressure of disapproval. I well remember my own parents refusing to attend my Baptism; they simply did not approve of the step I was taking in following Jesus. (Happily, that changed a few years later and my mother was herself baptised in her seventies.) Violent disapproval is rare in our own country, but in some other lands people even plot murder when a member of their family turns to follow Jesus.
Whether or not you have experienced some form of rejection or scorn, Jesus warns of that possibility but goes on to say that when it happens God has a special blessing for those affected by it.
Don’t be surprised if some folk turn against you because of your open faith and desire to follow Jesus. Count it as a blessing; as James puts it ‘Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. ‘ (James 1:2)