Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God – Matthew 5:9
Peace. It would be a nice thing wouldn’t it? I have a hunch, call it a gut instinct, that world peace isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
Peace is honestly hard to come by. We don’t really have much peace in our country right now. There isn’t peace in political parties. There isn’t peace between countries. There isn’t a whole lot of peace in many churches in our country. There isn’t always peace even within the same family.
How can we be peacemakers? The reality is, the only way we can be a peacemaker is if we are meek. Remember, the first four principles in the Beattitudes (Matthew 5:3-11) are internal, the next four are the external, living out of, the first four.
This principle of the peacemakers is the living out of Matthew 5:5 where Jesus says blessed are the meek.
God makes peace
The Bible contains over four hundred direct and indirect references to peace. The Bible begins in Genesis with peace in the Garden of Eden, and the Bible closes out in Revelation with peace in Eternity.
Through sin entering the world, peace is not reminiscent of our existence on earth. There was a major newspaper that reported in 1968 there had been, to that date, 14,553 known wars since 36 B.C. (John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Matthew 1-7, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985), 209-210). There have been many more since.
The peace Jesus references here is not peace to the absence of conflict or hardship, but instead is the “presence of righteousness” because “only righteousness can produce the relationship that brings two parties together” (211).
A peace treaty only goes so far. It is a document with words and a signature. It is not a change or transformation of the heart. The peace of God is not burying the issue and signing a treaty, but is a resolution of the issues and a restoration of a harmonious relationship.
Two people cannot be at peace until they recognize and resolve the wrong attitudes and actions that caused the conflict between them, and then bring themselves to God for cleansing… Biblically speaking, then, where there is true peace there is righteousness, holiness, and purity. Trying to bring harmony and compromising righteousness forfeits both (MacArthur, 211).
I think we see this even in the world around us. “Peace” often is temporary. It is until that person does something to add to what they’ve already done. Peace isn’t a forgiving of the past, but a bandaid that doesn’t really heal.
Peace is built on HUMILITY but requires a PRICE
There really cannot be peace without humility. The meek, humble person has recognized his or her position before God, has responded in faith, and is now at peace with God.
A peacemaker, first and foremost, is at peace with God. Then, the peacemaker leads others to make peace with God. And then helps people make peace with other people.
The peacemaker is a bridge builder, finding common ground and unity, and helping relationships be restored.
But it’s not easy. Making peace is never easy. Living a humble life is not easy, because it is not natural. Peace is thus built on humility and requires you as a peacemaker to pay a price.
You have to give up your right to be offended, to hold on to wrongdoing, to take revenge. The price of peace, though, comes with a reward. Those who are peacemakers are called sons and daughters of God. That is not reserved for everyone.