Luke 6:26—Is a good name a blessing or a curse?

Problem: In this text, Jesus told His disciples that people would speak evil of them, as they had of the prophets before them. On the other hand, Solomon taught that “A good name is better than precious ointment” (Ecc. 7:1). But if a good name is to be chosen over riches (Prov. 22:1), then why did Jesus tell His disciples to rejoice when people spoke evil of them?

Solution: A good name does not necessarily mean all people will speak well of those who possess it. Many persons with good names have evil enemies. Who has a more blessed name than Jesus Himself, and yet who is cursed more. Jesus warned His disciples in the Luke passage to be wary when those who are willing to sacrifice principle for popularity speak well of you. The acclaim of crowd pleasers is disastrous, but the recognition of the righteous is blessed.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.