Blessed [are] the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. –Matthew 5:9
World peace. It is what Miss America, Miss Universe, and every other beauty queen before and since has wanted so badly for so long. We all can agree that peace is a good thing, and something to aspire and hope for in the world. What we so easily misunderstand is that there can not first be true peace until there is purity (James 3:17). In the last post we talked about the importance of being pure; in the next breath Jesus teaches His followers that if they want to be called the sons of God then they should become peacemakers.
“The verse which precedes it speaks of the blessedness of ‘the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’ It is well that we should understand this. We are to be ‘first pure, then peaceable.’ Our peaceableness is never to be a compact with sin, or an alliance with that which is evil. We must set our faces like flints against everything which is contrary to God and his holiness. That being in our souls a settled matter, we can go on to peaceableness towards men.” (Spurgeon)
The reason why it is so difficult for us to make peace in this world is because we often care very little for purity. When we become pure at heart, genuine and sincere, then it will be easier to truly seek peace with others for no other reason than because it is the right thing to do. Notice though that it is not phrased passively but actively. It does not say blessed are the ‘peaceable’. It says blessed are the peacemakers. To make peace is an action word, and it is something that takes work.
When someone offends us it is so easy to want to make war instead of peace. We want to hurt that person like they hurt us (whether this decision was made consciously or not isn’t important). We want to make them feel bad; yet, Jesus says doing that won’t make you happy. What will make you happy in the end is to make peace with them. This concept becomes a little bit more clear when you are the third party trying to make peace between two sides in conflict with one another. If you succeed at being a good mediator of peace it will bring you nothing but joy to your heart at a good deed well done. Not only will it bring you joy, knowing that you did your best at what was right, but it will actually diffuse the situation and perhaps cause a change in the other person due to their heartfelt conviction. You could have made them feel bad, and angered them more by making war with them. Instead you poured coals of fire above their head by loving on them, blessing them, and attempting to make peace with them– causing them to seriously consider the entire situation and perhaps make a change for the better (Prov. 25:21-22).
Don’t be surprised though if no one thanks you for being the bigger person and making peace; in fact, as we will see in the next verse– they may hate you for it. Our thanks though will come from God, and we will be blessed and happy for it. In fact, you will be called a child of God. The word for sons here is υἱός (huios) and it can be used to mean “of those whom God esteems as sons, whom he loves, protects and benefits above others. Or those who revere God as their father, the pious worshippers of God, those who in character and life resemble God, those who are governed by the Spirit of God, repose the same calm and joyful trust in God which children do in their parents…”.
The making of peace is sometimes a thankless office, and it is the lot of him who parts a fray, to have blows on both sides; yet it is a good office, and we must be forward to it. –Matthew Henry
It may be a thankless job, but how often do we thank God for how much He sought peace with mankind? After all He is the God of peace, and Jesus is the prince of Peace. The one central theme of the Bible is that of God seeking and making peace with a fallen and rebellious creation– it is no wonder that the peacemakers shall be called His children.