Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9 ESV
A word we hear a lot these days is the word, extremist. Depending on what the issue is, it seems there is usually an extremist for it. Nothing has changed in 2000 years when in Jesus’ day men known as the Zealots, an anti-Roman political group, caused tension from time to time. Scholars have wondered if Jesus had them in mind when he spoke the next beatitude. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
Upon hearing the word peacemaker, we probably think of someone who brings peace between two parties. Yet, the word translated for peacemaker has a different meaning. The word translates as one who has received the peace of God in their own heart and bringing peace to others by spreading the good news. Let’s face it, we all could use a little peace these days. Jesus encourages his disciples (including disciples today) to work towards justice and reconciliation. As a contributor for the Bible Knowledge Commentary, Louis A. Barbieri Jr., says, “peacemakers show others how to have inward peace with God, and how to be instruments of peace in the world.”
It’s interesting that a few verses ago, Jesus talks about meekness or gentleness. It’s the way we are to interact with those around us. It seems as if it’s a key ingredient to being a peacemaker. The book of James also gives us some sound instruction about peacemaking. In chapter 3, James communicates to us what the true wisdom of God is. Important to know if someone is to be a peacemaker. God’s wisdom is not jealousy, and selfish ambition, but (verse 17), “the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace-loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. “Did you catch it? Gentle, willing to yield to others, and full of mercy. Three characteristics of those who spread peace and not animosity.
Furthermore, at the end of this beatitude, it says peacemakers shall be called sons of God or called forth as children of God.
Our world needs more peacemakers who first know the peace and wisdom of God and then share it with those around us. Let’s all be peacemakers.