I am a Jesus pusher!!! The Greek word “dioko” is translated “persecuted ones” (Matthew 5:10). This is a participle; it is a verb acting as an adjective. It gives content to the subject. It is in the perfect tense. There are two other Beatitudes using this participle form to describe a subject. They are the Beatitudes on “mourning” and “hungering and thirsting.” In each case, they are in the present tense. Jesus changes this in the last Beatitude. In fact, this is the only Beatitude in which the perfect passive participle is used. The perfect tense is used to give a consistency to the action. It speaks of an action occurring in the past, which has continual effects into the present. This means the translation of this verse should read, “who have been persecuted” instead of “who are persecuted.”
In other words, persecution is not just attached to being peacemakers. It begins the moment you and I respond to Jesus and begin the journey in His presence. When we are first embraced by His presence in our helplessness and become the Kingdom of God, we are going to be persecuted. Our response to Him through “mourning” is going to foster persecution. “Meekness” does not excite or thrill our self-seeking world. They cannot understand anyone who hungers and thirsts for something other than themselves. Who would want to be merciful? Purity in heart is not the craving of a self-focused individual. One who is bent on their way does not care for “peacemaking.” Therefore, persecution is present from the beginning. Jesus is not saying, “Blessed are those who shall be persecuted or are being persecuted.” He boldly says, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted from the outset of this relationship.” They are now full-fledged “persecuted ones!” Focus on Jesus! I am a Jesus pusher!!!