“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, light and a solution to the problems and problem people of this world, 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 ministry of reconciliation.
Today many people are alienated from God, from themselves, and from other people. There is an acute need for reconciliation. To quote an old theologian, “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 conflict is happening they are often in great danger. Such is the case with disciples who are living the fourth pair of Jesus Christ’s Beatitudes.
You would think that if a person had eight blessed attitudes in their life people would gather around them and sing “For he (and she) is a jolly good fellow!” But the opposite is true. Often such a person is attacked and persecuted.
The reason for this is that when people 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 are really not what they appear to be.
Those who are the salt of the earth irritate and burn the ethical sores of those who are lost.
Two people in a pew, which one are you?
Dick Woodward, 16 April 2010