Summary: Examination of the seventh BE-Attitude: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.

PURSUING HAPPINESS: Peacemakers in a World of Troublemakers

Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God”

Ephesians 2:1-18

1. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God”. This be-attitude is probably the most often quoted and well-known of the Beatitudes that make up the introduction to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

• And the most probable reason is that it expresses the deepest longings of most people’s hearts for genuine and lasting peace.

• We live in a world full of troublemakers, and covenant and heart breakers. Aggression and abuse, conflict and chaos, violence and vendettas have become our expertise.

• Back in 1935, Gen. Douglas MacArthur stated: "In the last 3,400 years only 268—less than 1 in 13—have been free from wars.”

• Since 1945 our world has been without war for only a mere 26 days!

• Someone has said, "Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stops to reload."

2. “Blessed are the peacemakers…” I wonder what questions, comments, arguments, and rationalizations went through the minds of Jesus’ disciples as they heard these words.

• Remember that at the time their country was under the boot of the hated Romans. One of them, Simon was a member of the Zealot party – the “freedom fighters” of the day who believed that liberation and peace would only come through war.

• Another, Matthew the tax collector, even though he inwardly despised the Romans, had adopted the philosophy “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” and had made his living at his own people’s expense.

• James and John on one occasion had wanted to call down fire from heaven on a group of Samaritans for refusing to let Jesus and his disciples pass through their village – they were obviously well known for their explosive tempers as they often argued with the other disciples about which of them was the greatest – so Jesus nicknamed them “Sons of Thunder”.

• Peter used to carry a sword under his garments and was quick to use it when Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane as he hacked off the ear of Malchus, the servant of the High Priest.

3. As you can see, they were just ordinary, regular folks, like you and me –

• also having to do battle with divisions, alienation, feuds, aggression and hostilities between nations, ethnic or language groups, political parties, cliquish social groups within communities, churches, and even our own families – the troublemakers "out there".

• and the stormy emotions of anxiety, fear, bitterness, anger, resentment, and unforgiveness deep inside our own souls – the troublemakers "inside here".

4. So how on earth do we become “blessed peacemakers” when the battles are raging all around us and we hardly feel or experience much peace on the inside?

• Maybe it is much safer to just be like the tortoise and pull our heads inside our shell and try to keep our minds occupied or entertained with less troublesome matters.

5. As we have recognized in the previous messages in this series, Jesus presents a specific order and progressive development in each of these Be-Attitudes – each one builds on what has been stated earlier.

• You cannot just put them in any order you like or pick and choose which one you prefer for yourself.

 Disciples of Jesus all have to start in the same place of acknowledging our own spiritual bankruptcy – that we are full of sin and God alone is full of righteousness.

 That acknowledgment leads us to mourn and repent of our condition,

 and so willingly place our strength and our wills in meekness under His control.

 The consequence of that response is that we start to see the world from God’s perspective and desire His passions to be our own – we hunger and thirst for His righteousness.

 In light of that humble attitude God showers on us His mercy and we in turn choose to respond to others in the same way.

 As we continue to receive His mercy, so our hearts are refined and purified of mixed motives and unholy passions and the joy of seeing and beholding God’s face becomes our one chief desire.

 God’s peace in our hearts is the blessed fruit of those who continue in this journey – peace with God and peace with themselves. Now the very nature of God’s peace is that it always fills and overflows its container – it is an abundant and living peace that does not stop filling when the container is 100% full – it continues to be poured in and then flows from us to its next recipients.

• Now as we will discover in our next and final message on the Beatitudes and many have learned by painful experience – every hurting and troubled person, family, community, or nation does not automatically recognize, acknowledge, and warmly accept their need of God’s peace. Sadly, many openly resist it, reject it and refuse it and will harass, threaten, and persecute those who seek to bring God’s peace.

6. But that’s what we’ll look at next time. Today, we want to examine what it means to be one of God’s peacemakers and I will simply share some broad principles that can be applied in both the smaller and more immediate arenas of life – among our own families and friends in church and the community as well as further afield in the wider and bigger circles of influence. I find at least three “peacemaker principles” in the scripture that we read from Ephesians 2 this morning:





1. Peacemakers have accepted the absolute necessity of the Cross not just for all people everywhere – but especially and particularly for themselves.

• They know and believe that that is “their cross” – that they should have been nailed there, by the righteous demands of God’s law and justice. The Law states that “the soul that sins shall die” – and we have all sinned.

• They also know and believe that they need to live the crucified life – as Paul says in his letter to the Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me…”

2. This mindset enables the peacemaker to live a non-defensive and non-retaliatory life. You see you can do whatever you want to a dead body and you are not going to get a reaction out of it. You can prick it, poke it, prod it and push it and it will never retaliate - because it is dead.

• Jesus lived the crucified life from beginning to end – though there was no sinful nature in Him – but when He was lied about, spat on, beaten with rods, lashed with the whip, and nailed to the tree He neither cursed nor accused nor sought to defend His rights – instead He prayed for His adversaries to be forgiven.

• Stephen, the first Christian martyr did the same thing as they were taking his life.

3. Peacemakers have accepted that at the foot of the cross there is no room for pride or boasting, for arrogance and abuse, for control and manipulation of others.

• If there is going to be reconciliation with others then that is the only place to meet

• And peacemakers are always the first ones there – never forcing others to come – but humbly extending the invitation and actively waiting with patience and hope


1. Peacemakers are never passive in their efforts to reach out to those from whom they have been alienated.

• They recognize that in Christ God acted first to break down the dividing wall of sin that separated us from Him and consequently separates people from one another.

• In Christ we now move to bridge the divides that once separated and break down the walls that once divided people from one another.

2. Peacemakers take the initiative to restore broken relationships. They do not wait for the others to apologize first or express interest in resolving a dispute.

• They are careful that their words, their actions, and their attitude never convey any sense of self-righteousness or spiritual superiority - suggesting to their adversaries that if only they would "come up here, to the moral high ground" that the tensions and misunderstandings might be resolved. Rather, peacemakers are found down in the muck, on their knees.

• They acknowledge their genuine sorrow over the disagreement; demonstrate their willingness to listen, and their true desire to see the relationship healed.

3. Peacemakers build bridges by their attentiveness to and consideration of the needs of those from whom they have been alienated. They recognize too that walls of ice are more effectively melted and removed when they are bathed in sunshine than attacked with a pick axe.

• Peacemakers pray for, bless, and do deeds of kindness to those who have been their opponents.


1. Peacemakers no longer talk in terms of “us” and “them”, but of one new creation. All the distinctions we used in the past to justify and underscore our differences and provide as substantive and legitimate reasons for our separation and distance have been made of no consequence by the Cross.

• Language, culture, ethnicity, level of education, financial status, age, gender, or denomination fade in importance compared to the fact that every one of us was under God’s judgment and have now been declared forgiven and free of condemnation.

2. Peacemakers work to hasten the day when the prayer of Jesus in John 17, that we “may all be one”, even as He and the Father are one – one in shared life, purpose, will, and motivation – will be fulfilled here on earth and that we will reflect the image and likeness of the Son in much the same way that He is the full visible manifestation of the Father’s glory.

• When Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father, Jesus replied: “Have I been with you so long, Philip, and yet you do not recognize me? He who has seen me, has seen the Father”.

• The prayer and the work of peacemakers has this objective that those who hang out with us will increasingly see Jesus and know us and refer to us as “the sons of God”.