Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Matt 5: 9
During this time people will have a tendency to say quite frequently, “…peace on earth, goodwill to men…” The truth is making peace is not as easy as wishing for it. Truth is most of us merely give mental assent to the idea of peace without really understanding what a profoundly Godlike thing peace making actually is.
Often people confuse peace makers with peace keepers. There is a definite difference. Someone who is a peace a keeper is one who is willing to maintain a conflict free atmosphere at all costs. During WWII, the majority of Europe was so enamored with the perception of keeping peace that they were willing to look the other way while a Hitler led Germany took a stronghold on Europe that was almost too much to overcome by the Allied forces. Instead of addressing conflict, they would rather keep the peace and it almost cost them all of Europe! They were so willing to keep up a front of peace that they convinced themselves of its reality when really there was none!
Too often churches are misguided by the thought that what makes us children of God is the avoidance of conflict. How many times do the people of God turn away from much needed confrontation to a lack of involvement that is about as much peace and safety as putting ones head in the sand at the approach of danger? The end result does not result in peace nor does it honor the name of God and we look nothing like Him in the process.
Consider for a minute who we are being patterned after. Children of God should resemble the Son of God. This same Son of God says to these same disciples a few chapters later, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Matt. 10: 34 At first blush this sounds completely contradictory until you understand the nature of the peace at stake. The peace Jesus came to give is more than a perspective or notion, it is way more than the absence of conflict. It is instead, a settling that Jesus, the Prince of Peace is indeed Lord and in control.
Peace makers don’t approach the world around them as having peace that needs to be maintained, they instead are committed to MAKING peace in an area that has none. Peace makers understand that where Christ is not Lord, things will not be at peace until He is. Simply put:
No Jesus, no peace
Know Jesus, know peace
Peace makers are committed to taking their hearts made pure by the power of the mercy of Christ and increasing the territory of peace even when it means disturbing a world that does not have real peace outside because it does not have the Real Peace inside. Peacemaking is real, divinely inspired work that risks confrontation in order to bring true and lasting peace where none is. No wonder why the blessing is that they are called the children of God! In taking on the work of God they begin to look just like Him!
That leads us to our last question about this text. We know they are called the children of God, but WHO does the calling? For years I thought this meant that people around would see the works that they did and say of them, “Look, there go the children of God!” The truth is that the world around us doesn’t know peace like we know Peace so they can’t and won’t call us children of God. That label comes from God Himself!
Just as when the Son of God entered His peacemaking mission God spoke identifying and affirming Jesus (Matt. 3:17), in like manner when we do the works of Christ and bring peace to a world that has none, God speaks of us in tones loud enough for the universe to hear “This is my beloved son, my beloved daughter in whom I am well pleased!” To put it in the common vernacular God says of us: HEY! THAT’S MY BOY! THAT’S MY GIRL! CHECK OUT THE FAMILY RESEMBLANCE!
Are you willing to look so much like Him that people can tell that you belong to God? Let’s spend today being peacemakers and show off our Family resemblance.