Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
(Matthew 5:9, NIV)
The Jews expected their Messiah to be a warrior. They expected Him to turn the Romans to dust under His heel. They expected a general to free them from Roman oppression. The Jews were looking at the here and now, or the then and there. They were not looking to the future. They were not looking at God’s plan.
The Jewish people needed a shift in perspective, which is one of the reasons Jesus’ message was so difficult for them to understand and put into practice. Jesus the Messiah was not living up to their expectations. Here, Jesus is calling for peace instead of war. Peace instead of revolution. Peace with their enemies and oppressors.
There is a lot of talk about peace in today’s world. Peace between nations. Peace between opposing viewpoints. Everyone wants peace. And everyone has their own ideas of what it means and how to achieve their vision. Jesus wants us to be peacemakers to the world.
Peacemakers are those who reconcile problems between people at odds by building bridges or finding common ground. Being a peacemaker is an active job. You cannot sit around and wait for something to fall into your lap. You must get up and act! Being a peacemaker means recognizing a problem, and taking the initiative to become involved in coming up with a solution.
More specifically, Jesus is calling us to serve as peacemakers on His behalf. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, recognized that there was a problem. He saw that mankind was separated from His Father. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, they sinned against God. Their relationship with God, and by extent the relationship of mankind with God, was broken. The oneness they experienced was forever tainted. Sin had entered the world and God cannot abide sin in His presence.
The solution to reconciling the relationship between God and mankind was for a perfect sacrifice to be made. Jesus willingly chose to be the sacrifice. Jesus was sinless. He was not separated from God, He could stand in God’s presence. Yet He allowed Himself to die so that the shedding of His innocent blood would form a bridge, allowing mankind to once again be able to enter the presence of God. We become His children.
When Jesus calls us to be peacemakers, He is asking us to share with others the Gospel. To share of His sacrifice and its meaning, so that they too may become a child of God and one day enter into His presence. Peace, every kind of peace, comes from God. There is no other way to achieve true, everlasting peace.
Peace for ourselves comes from being in harmony with God and His will. If you harbor resentment or allow destructive thoughts to take hold within, you will not find peace. This is also why peace becomes much more difficult with the more people that are involved. Too often, instead of seeking peace through God’s will, people are too busy determining how a situation can best benefit them and how they can come out on top.
Are you at peace? Examine all aspects of your life. Are you searching for God’s plan in all that you do? Come before God and seek His peace. Listen for His direction. And act!
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