As we continue through The Beatitudes, understand the ‘shock-factor’ in Christ’s statement. The Jews were not looking for peace. They were looking for victory over Rome. In their minds, peace was not an option for all of the wrongs that had been committed against them. Yet, Jesus came preaching “blessed are the peacemakers. Blessed are those who actually pursue and promote and foster and make peace.”
Like most of the Beatitudes, we must be careful to not misunderstand these words of Jesus. Jesus’ words have nothing to do with political peace. Jesus is not primarily concerned about peace between nations or even peace between you and your neighbor. Jesus has spiritual peace in mind – Peace between man and God.
Peacemakers are needed because there is sin in the world. Sin has broken the peace between God and man. John MacArthur has written in his commentary on this passage, “Men are without peace because they are without God.” Blessed is the man who seeks to restore that peace.
So, how do we ‘make’ peace?
- First of all, we must make peace between ourselves and God. We must trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. He is our peace. He is the only way we can be reconciled to God.
- Secondly, we must preach the Gospel. “To preach Christ is to promote peace.” (MacArthur) A peacemaker recognizes those who have no peace and shows them how to find true peace. A peacemaker points to Jesus Christ as the only way to have peace with God.
A godly peace-maker is one who passionately pursues peace without sacrificing truth. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matt. 10:34) A peacemaker passionately defends and promotes the truth even when the truth does not appear, at first glance, to foster peace. A peacemaker lovingly but honestly says “you are a sinner.”
Blessed are the peacemakers. Blessed are the evangelists. Blessed are those who tell other people how to have peace with God.