This post is part of a series exploring the Beatitudes and the Salt and Light passage at the beginning of Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5.
Before reading about today’s Beatitude, you may wish to consult the 4 principles for interpreting the Beatitudes (HERE). These principles help us read the Beatitudes in light of the Sermon on the Mount and one another.
And now, on to our Beatitude for today!
Blessed are the peacemakers
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” ~ Matthew 5:9
As I write this post, our nation is just days out from terrible racist violence that resulted in murder in Charlottesville, VA, escalating military and political tension between the USA and North Korea, and terrorist attacks in Spain. It seems that there is no deficit of violence, anger, or conflict in our world.
Sometimes when I read Matthew 5:9 and the call for Christ’s people to be peacemakers, I come to it with measured cynicism because the task of peacemaking seems overwhelming. Maybe it isn’t cynicism but more of a hopeless fatalism?
I think I feel this way at times because I tend to think of peace in the categories of “absence of war” or “absence of violence.” But, peace, in the Biblical sense, is not the absence of something. In Scripture, we see that peace is the presence of something, or rather, the presence of someOne.
Peace… shalom… occurs when we are in right relationship with God and right relationship with others. Shalom is a place of comfort even in the midst of uncomfortable circumstances. This kind of peace–shalom–is what believers in Christ are called to “make” when Christ calls them to be “peacemakers.”
Jesus calls peacemakers “sons [and daughters] of God.” Why? It is because God is the ultimate Peacemaker. In sending His Son to die for His enemies (sinners), He reconciled us to Himself and made peace with us (see 2 Corinthians 5:18). In doing this, He gave us the ministry of reconciliation: peacemaking. Thus, doing the work of peacemaking does not make us son or daughter of God. Rather, being a child of God makes us a peacemaker. The being (at peace with God) produces the calling (doing the work of peacemaking).
This beatitude is a good word for the church in our nation right now. People are seeking peace, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that peace. We must live out the Gospel call to reconciliation by crossing the sinful anti-peace attitudes of racism, xenophobia, and nationalism. We must live out the Gospel call to produce reconciliation by proclaiming the message of peace with God found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Moreover, we must not endeavor one without the other.
Are you a peacemaker?
Are you a peacemaker?
- Are there racist, xenophobic, or nationalistic tendencies in your heart, speech, or actions? Confess your sin, repent, and ask God to give you a peacemaking heart.
- Are you committing a sin of omission when it comes to the missional call to proclaim peace with God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Confess your sin, repent, and ask God to give you a passion for proclaiming the Gospel of peace.
Take the next step (5 minutes)
- Take 5 minutes right now and pray for deliverance from racism in our nation, absence of war and conflict in the world, the successful advance of the Gospel, and the ability to love your enemy.
In this series
- Part 1: The Poor in Spirit
- Part 2: Those Who Mourn
- Part 3: The Meek
- Part 4: Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness
- Part 5: The Merciful
- Part 6: The Pure in Heart
- Part 7: The Peacemakers
- Part 8: Those Who are Persecuted
- Part 9: The Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World
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