Summary: Utilizing this Beatitude of our Lord, may aim is to draw the congregation closer to what Christmas is all about in the birth of our "Peace-Maker".
Blessed are the Peace-Makers
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
This verse in Isaiah follows a description of war and strife. It is a picture of Israel (The Northern Kingdom) coming under attack and being destroyed and many of its finest carried off into Assyria.
Isaiah 8 - 9:5 provides such a picture of war and strife. But this section makes it clear that whatever enemy force (Assyria specifically) comes now against Judah, even the mighty torrent of Assyria, it will not overwhelm Jerusalem. It will the Northern Kingdom (Israel) but not the Southern Kingdom (Jerusalem). Tiglath-Pileser III was too come in and take captive Israel.
In this context of future doom for the Northern Kingdom, Isaiah couched his prophecy of the Coming of a Messiah Savior. This passage that you have no doubt read and heard many times at this time of the year was written in the midst of a decaying Kingdom doomed for destruction. God rolled up the curtains; open the veil and gave Isaiah a peek inside the future when on that grand and glorious day over 2000 years ago when our Savior was borne.
"The everlasting Father" — In Scripture God is often likened to a father who cares for his children (cf. 63:16; Psa. 103:13). In that sense, this person will perpetually care for his people (Young). Prince of Peace. He will not be a tyrannical ruler. But He will usher in a great time of "Peace" to His followers.
Blessed are the Peace-Makers.
Early on in His ministry in the Sermon on the Mount uttered words that ring true for the Christian and that is just as He came to bring peace, so are we to continue that ministry of bringing in peace. He said, ""Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
There is an ascending slope to Christian maturity within these Beatitudes. "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God." This truth is unthinkable without understanding of the preceding beatitudes. There can be no peacemaking without the experience of the other virtues mentioned in the preceding beatitudes. Only as we have traveled through the areas of the other beatitudes are we ready to enter into this one:
3. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5. Blessed are the meek,for they will inherit the earth.
6. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
I. The Need for Peacemakers
A. Jesus certainly recognized the need for peace.-
1.Peacemakers are those who actively work to bring about peace and reconciliation where there is hatred and enmity.
2.God blesses peacemakers and declares them to be His children (Matt. 5:9).
3.Those who work for peace share in Christ’s ministry of bringing peace and reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-19; Eph. 2:14-15; Col. 1:20).
B. Definition: Greek - eirene - unity, concord; Hebrew - shalom; -- peace, health, whole, complete -
1.This term is used in different senses in the Scriptures.
4.In its deepest application, spiritual peace through restored relations of harmony with God (e.g., Isaiah 9:6-7; 26:3; Luke 2:14; John 14:27; Acts 10:36; Romans 1:7; 5:1; Galatians 5:22; etc.). See Atonement; Faith; Pardon; Adoption; Holy Spirit.
Barclay, "The Hebrew ’peace’ is never only an absence of trouble. In Hebrew peace always means everything which makes for a man’s highest good. So, in the East when a man says ’Shalom’ to someone, he does not just mean the absence of evil but the presence of all that is good. In the Bible peace means not only freedom from all trouble; it means enjoyment of all good."
C. There is strife among nations - radical Islam; economic war; water wars are coming.
1.Has not your heart been troubled by the terrorist attacks happening now in India? Radical Islamic terrorism is here to stay for many years to come.
2.What about the Pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia? Centuries ago Pirates oft found retreat in the North Carolina coast with the many tributaries. Now, Pirating is renewed in the 21st century.