During Lent this year, as we were studying the Sermon on the Mount, we heard Jesus’ words “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matt 5:11-12
Jeremiah’s experience in this week’s reading shows us what that looks like in real life. In response to his preaching, he is beaten and thrown in the stocks. Jeremiah does not deny the pain that this public humiliation caused him. We’re shown a real insight into the frustration and bewilderment he feels as he thinks about his ministry. At its worst, he even curses the day he was born. But he also expresses faith that the Lord is a God of justice and his word will prevail eventually. Jeremiah’s disgrace was temporary, but his reward is eternal.