“Blessed are the peacemakers … Blessed are those who are persecuted …” (Matthew 5: 9, 10)
As Jesus profiles the character of a disciple that makes them salt and light, a solution and an answer of His to the problems and the problem people of this world, He describes the fourth pair of Beatitudes when He declares that they will be peacemakers who get persecuted.
A synonym for “peacemakers” is “reconcilers.” Paul writes (in 2 Corinthians 5: 13-6:2), that every believer who has been reconciled to God through Christ has committed to them the message and the ministry of reconciliation. Today many people are alienated from God, from themselves and from other people. The acute need today is, therefore, for reconciliation. To quote a theologian, who was interpreting the passage referenced in parentheses above, “It is the will of the Reconciler that the reconciled are to be the vehicles of reconciliation in the lives of the un-reconciled.”
Since reconcilers go where the conflict is happening they are often in great danger. Such is the case with the disciples who are living the fourth pair of Beatitudes. You would think that if a person had the eight blessed attitudes in their life people would gather around them and sing “For he’s a jolly good fellow!” But the opposite is true. They attack and persecute such a person.
The reason for this is that when they meet such a person they have two choices: They can realize that this is what I should be like, or they can attack that person and try to prove that they’re really not what they appear to be. Those who are the salt of the earth irritate and burn the moral sores of those who are lost. Two men in a pew, which one are you?