“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
Out of all the beatitudes or blessings that we have studied thus far from Christ’s famous teaching found in Matthew 5, “Blessed are the peacemakers” seems like the easiest to claim and live out. No one openly enjoys living in conflict or tension. However, notice that this verse does not just say blessed are those who live in peace, but rather, blessed are the peacemakers.
Again, just like blessed are the poor in spirit or blessed are those who mourn, this beatitude seems like a contradiction. How can a blessing, or as it is put in the Greek, “happiness,” come from actively striving for peace? Doesn’t peace involve ample amounts of self-control, self-sacrifice, and pain? Once again, we have to look a little deeper into the context of this blessing and take a closer look at the One who said it.
In conflict with another person, as believers we have the opportunity and responsibility to become the peacemaker. This does not mean giving up or giving in to whatever another person wills, but it does mean working even harder to find an equitable solution. Sometimes being a peacemaker means stepping into someone else’s conflict and taking blows from both sides until a resolution can be reached. Regardless, whether you are the one in conflict or a third party, dealing with conflict is a messy and painful process. Thankfully, peacemaking is not something we have to do on our own.
Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” We are called to peace, but we first have the peace of Christ. Jesus not only created peace but also set the example of peace when He came between both God and man as our Savior. He gave His life for us so that we could come near in relationship with God. He was the ultimate peacemaker!
Today we can extend Christ’s peace to others through the message of the gospel while also living at peace with others through the Spirit. Ephesians 4:2-3 affirms this saying, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
The reward for this beatitude is a twofold: the blessings that result from peace as well as being called children of God. We share in Christ’s very heart for reconciliation when we live as a peacemaker in our daily lives. In this way, we bear resemblance to the Lord and reflect His goodness in our lives like a child reflects his parents’ teachings. This gives all the glory to back to Him!
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