“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 5:9-10)
As Jesus profiles what makes a disciple salty light and His solution to the problems and the problem people of this world, He declares that they will be peacemakers who get persecuted in His fourth pair of Beatitudes.
A synonym for “peacemakers” is “reconcilers.” Paul writes (in Second Corinthians 5:13-6:2), that every believer who has been reconciled to God through Christ is now committed to the message and the ministry of reconciliation. Today many people are alienated from God, from themselves, and from other people. The acute need today, therefore, is for reconciliation. To quote a theologian, who was interpreting the passage referenced 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 disciples who are living the fourth pair of Beatitudes. You would think that if a person had the eight blessed attitudes in their lives others would gather around him or her and sing, “For he’s (or she’s) a jolly good fellow!” But the opposite is often true. They attack and persecute such a person.
The reason being 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.
So let me ask you, two men (people) in a pew, which one are you?
Dick Woodward, 16 April 2010