Peacemakers’ Rejection - Matt. 5:10-12
July 10, 2024, 9:00 AM

10. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

One problem with peace is rejection. Whenever we attempt to offer the olive branch, the difficulty is that it can be snatched from us. Jesus came to bring peace and was rejected and crucified. When the disciples went out to heal and preach, Jesus told them to plan on rejection. Rejection isn't fun. All Christians who are Christ followers will be rejected by some. Jesus said, Luke 9:26 "Whoever is ashamed of me and my words of him will the son of man be ashamed." Luke 6:26 "Woe to you when all men speak well of you." If you are liked by everyone something is wrong. When the disciples came to Jesus, they were rejected. When Jews come to Christ, many of their families have funerals for them, disowning them and treating them as if they were dead. In this passage rejection is identified as insults or reviling persecution, facing accusations for Jesus’ sake.

To be reconciled with Christ is to be so identified with Him that your life will not go the way of the world. You will seek to be ethical in business, to be forgiving to offenders, to be legal in activities, and to be moral in your relationships. Friends want friends they can feel comfortable around and many are not comfortable around those dedicating their lives to live in honor of Jesus.

I read David Platt’s book, Radical, how one missionary couple of the last century sensed the call of God to go to a Muslim village to tell the people how they could have peace with God. The whole family was killed. Years later another missionary couple came on the scene and told the same message. Remembering the stories of their first missionary they listened and responded in faith in Christ. Who would volunteer to be martyred so a future generation might be saved?

That is far different than the type of rejection that happens to most American Christians today. Some might not get promotions for their job. Some may not get hired or can get fired because their practices are not in cooperation with certain sales promotions. Some get laughed at work or mocked in the neighborhoods. Some are made fun of, or politely but consistently ignored by others. Many evangelical Christians in politics are categorized as extremists and bigoted and forced out of office.

The call to follow Jesus, to seek peace with God and to confront evil in society can easily result in rejection.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, give the boldness that you gave to Peter and Paul to proclaim Your gospel to the nations.  Show me how You wish me to do this.