Are we peacemakers or peace destroyers? What does it take to be a peacemaker in a world where peace is fast becoming an obsolete object?
Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
The peace of Christ is born of truth. It is harmony with God. The world is at enmity with the law of God; sinners are at enmity with their Maker; and as a result they are at enmity with one another.
But the psalmist declares, Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble. Psalm 119:165.
Men cannot manufacture peace. Human plans for the purification and uplifting of individuals or of society will fail of producing peace, because they do not reach the heart.
The only power that can create or perpetuate true peace is the grace of Christ. When this is implanted in the heart, it will cast out the evil passions that cause strife and dissension.
“Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;” and life’s desert “shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” Isaiah 55:13; 35:1.
The multitudes were amazed at this teaching, which was so at variance with the precepts and example of the Pharisees. The people had come to think that happiness consisted in the possession of the things of this world, and that fame and the honour of men were much to be coveted.
It was very pleasing to be called “Rabbi,” and to be extolled as wise and religious, having their virtues paraded before the public. This was regarded as the crown of happiness. But in the presence of that vast throng, Jesus declared that earthly gain and honour were all the reward such persons would ever receive.
He spoke with certainty, and a convincing power attended His words. The people were silenced, and a feeling of fear crept over them. They looked at one another doubtfully. Who of them would be saved if this Man’s teachings were true? Many were convicted that this remarkable Teacher was actuated by the Spirit of God, and that the sentiments He uttered were divine.
After explaining what constitutes true happiness, and how it may be obtained, Jesus more definitely pointed out the duty of His disciples, as teachers chosen of God to lead others into the path of righteousness and eternal life.
He knew that they would often suffer from disappointment and discouragement, that they would meet with decided opposition, that they would be insulted, and their testimony rejected. Well, He knew that in the fulfilment of their mission, the humble men who listened so attentively to His words were to bear character assassination, torture, imprisonment, and death, and He continued:
Peacemakers. Gr. eirēnē, “peace,” and poieō “to make.” Christ here refers particularly to bringing men into harmony with God.
“The carnal mind is enmity against God” (Rom. 8:7). But Christ, the Master Peacemaker, came to show men that God is not their enemy. Christ is “The Prince of Peace”
Listen to the following immortal words of Isaiah:
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
He was the messenger of peace from God to man. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1
When Jesus had completed His appointed task and returned to the Father, He could say,
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.
In order to appreciate what Christ meant when He spoke of “peacemakers” it is helpful to take note of the meaning of peace in Semitic thinking and speech.
The Hebrew equivalent of the Greek eirēnē, is shalom, meaning “completeness,” “soundness,” “prosperity,” “condition of well-being,” “peace.”
Since Christ and the common people used Aramaic, a language closely akin to the Hebrew, Jesus doubtless used the word with its Semitic connotations.
Christians are to be at peace among themselves.
1 Thessalonians 5:12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labour among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
1 Thessalonians 5:13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
They are to pray for peace, to work for peace, and to take a constructive interest in activities that contribute to a peaceful state of society.
The Jews thought of themselves as the “children of God”
Deuteronomy 14:1 “You are the children of the LORD your God.
Hosea 1:10 “Yet the number of the children of Israel Shall be as the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There it shall be said to them, ‘You are sons of the living God.’
What about modern spiritual Israel? Will we also be honoured by this very endearing title?
1 John 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
“Peace-makers” are the “sons of God” because they are at peace with Him themselves, and are devoted to the cause of leading their fellow men to be at peace with Him.
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”—Matthew 5:9.
Christ is “the Prince of Peace”, and it is His mission to restore to earth and heaven the peace that sin has broken. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1. Whoever consents to renounce sin and open his heart to the love of Christ, becomes a partaker of this heavenly peace.
There is no other ground of peace than this. The grace of Christ received into the heart, subdues enmity; it allays strife and fills the soul with love. He who is at peace with God and his fellow men cannot be made miserable.
Envy will not be in his heart; evil surmisings will find no room there; hatred cannot exist. The heart that is in harmony with God is a partaker of the peace of heaven and will diffuse its blessed influence on all around. The spirit of peace will rest like dew upon hearts weary and troubled with worldly strife.
Christ’s followers are sent to the world with the message of peace. Whoever, by the quiet, unconscious influence of a holy life, shall reveal the love of Christ; whoever, by word or deed, shall lead another to renounce sin and yield his heart to God, is a peacemaker.
And “blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” The spirit of peace is evidence of their connection with heaven. The sweet savour of Christ surrounds them.
The fragrance of the life, the loveliness of the character, reveal to the world the fact that they are children of God. Men take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus.
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Then the remnant of Jacob Shall be in the midst of many peoples, Like dew from the LORD, Like showers on the grass, That tarry for no man Nor wait for the sons of men. Micah 5:7.
The remnant of Jacob will be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the LORD, like showers on the grass, which do not wait for anyone or depend on man. Micah 5:7.
God wants you and me to be peaceful dew in this world of war and rumours of war. He wants us to treat our friends and enemies with friendly showers of kindness and love.
Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.