“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.”
In Matthew 5:11-12 Jesus compares the persecution and reward of His follows with that of the prophets. Hidden in this assurance is a claim by Jesus that the prophets suffered because of Him.
Hebrews 11 gives several illustrations of Biblical faith. Although the patriarchs had a limited knowledge of the Messiah, Jesus seems to suggest that those who suffered on His account before His coming are linked into the same purpose and blessing as those who might follow after Him.