“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9).
In the aftermath of our recent killing days, many followers of Christ have arisen to take on the mantle of peacemakers. We need all Christians to be peacemakers.
The late Baptist pastor, Herschel Hobbs, said Christ is a peacemaker between God and humanity (Colossians 1:20-22) and between people (Ephesians 2:12-18).
Our peace with God is what causes us to seek peace in all of our interactions. We want to help bring God’s peace to others. And in being such peacemakers, we are revealed as children of God.
That’s the way we are supposed to be. Why is it not? Why are we not more actively pursuing peace in our world?
One of the reasons we are not peacemakers is that we are not merciful, and Jesus spoke to the importance of mercy. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy” (Matthew 5:7).
We are not peacemakers also because we are not humble. The Bible is full of affirmations of humility and condemnations of pride. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).
We don’t promote peace because we like to fight, especially we men. We battle over intellectual territory like our ancient ancestors battled over hunting grounds. Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).
We fail to pursue peace because we are not pursuing God’s righteousness. World history and our personal histories are littered with the spectacles of our desires to pursue what we think is right and not what God said is right and good and holy. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6).
We do not pursue God’s peace because it will be resisted. God’s peace involves the shaking of a corrupt world. God’s peace can only come as evil is opposed, and sinful people embrace parts of the evil, sometimes without knowing it. To pursue God’s peace in the world will disturb our own societal peace. We will be opposed, even by those closest to us -- our family and friends. For the sake of harmony in our tight-knit circles, it is easy to allow our ingrained prejudices to go unchallenged. Our harmony and God’s peace are not the same. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10). And, “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account” (Matthew 5:11).
And we do not even grieve for the loss of this broader peace because we are so comfortable in our our own self-centered worlds. To get out of our own little worlds will cause us to hurt for our neighbors. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
If we will allow God to make us the peacemakers we are designed to be, then we will experience something new and glorious. We will have gotten beyond our own self-centered thinking and living. We will be living more like Jesus, who said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8)
May we all see God more clearly. And as we do, may we all see our neighbors differently, with purity and love.