“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9 Could you imagine what it would be like if we were all peacemakers? What if through our ministries we could bring healing to broken marriages, discouraged Christians and a damaged world? Could you imagine a ministry where brothers and sisters start talking to each other again and children and parents are reunited in love?
Maybe it is important that Jesus comments on being peacemakers follows quickly on the heels of His stating, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8 Is it possible to be a peacemaker when our hearts are not pure? The pure in heart obviously are those people who have a single-minded commitment to the kingdom of God. When we have a sincere devotion to God inward garbage will not control our thoughts.
When our minds are so clouded with selfishness, greed and junk it is impossible to see Jesus spiritually. It is only when we surrender our hearts to Jesus that we long to have a deeper and richer experience with Him. The things that once occupied our minds and controlled their every thought are replaced with a love for Jesus. Because we are sinful beings we will slip and fall and our minds will drift back into old habits from time to time, but sin will not control us as it did before conversion.
D.A. Carson, in his wonderful commentary on Matthew puts it this way, “The pure in heart will see God-now with eyes of faith and finally in the dazzling brilliance of the beatific vision in whose light no deceit can exist.” Matthew, Expositors Bible Commentary, pg.135
Notice, Jesus concern isn’t with the peaceful but the peacemakers. Isaiah 52:7 reads, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say in Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ “ This is one of those awe inspiring passages of Scripture that make us want to be one of those people.
Jesus is the great peacemaker because He makes peace between God and man and man and man. That is what it means for us to love God with all our hearts and our fellow man as ourselves. We are simply responding to the love God has for us and the peace He brings us through His assurance of our salvation.
As Jesus disciples, we shouldn’t be contending with each other and fighting over the things that divide us. Instead we should be delighting in bringing harmony and peace to the community of Jesus. In the Old Testament Israel were referred to as “Sons,” but now the title belongs to the heirs of the kingdom who, though meek and poor in spirit, love righteousness and reflect the character of God through being peacemakers.
In case you think being a peacemaker is easy notice verse 10, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” All peacemakers are persecuted because they follow in the footsteps of Jesus. When we long to see people restored to their God and to each other we step out in faith and speak with an authority and honesty that many people don’t want to hear. Many people want to cling to their prejudices and pain and are very unhappy when it is suggested that God longs for reconciliation in their lives.
God longs to see us all in the kingdom of heaven and He has done everything possible to see that we have every opportunity to be there. He has brought us peace through His Son and we have the privilege to help others find that peace in Christ Jesus.
One last thing before I close this post. The idea of peace in the New Testament has the idea of “trusting in the promise of God,” and thus having peace or assurance in our hearts that God’s sacrifice at Calvary is sufficient for our redemption. God’s grace, unmerited love is sufficient to heal the deepest wounds within the family unit as well.
* Persecution of Christians even unto death is getting out of control around the world. More than ever we need peacemakers. Go to http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/ for updates and as always we need to continue praying for these people.