Summary: The message deals with 1. The Definition of Peace, 2. The Master of Peace, 3. The Ambassadors of Peace, and 4. The Result of Peace.
Blessed Are the Peacemakers
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
A. Todd Coget tells the story of a four-year-old and a six-year-old presented their mom with a houseplant. They had used their own money to buy it and she was thrilled. The older of them said with a sad face, "There was a bouquet at the flower shop that we wanted to give you. It was real pretty but it was too expensive. It had a ribbon on it that said ‘Rest In Peace,’ and we thought it would be just perfect since you are always asking for a little peace so that you can rest.
I need only look at the paper or turn on the news to realize there are not enough "peace makers" to go around. Man is continually striving against his fellow man. Anger, bitterness, envy, and hatred are just a few of the reasons there are murders every day and constant war.
Someone has said that out of the last 4000 years there has only been 300 years of peace on the planet. Even the compilers of this statistic agree that there could have been a skirmish some where that would reduce the amount of peace time. It seems that man will always war with his fellow man.
There are some who would eliminate the weapons of war as a solution. They want to rid the earth of pistols, revolvers, rifles, conventional explosives, and nuclear weapons. Treaties, truces, and cease fires seem to have little or no effect.
Recently a bill was introduced in the Senate which would make the manufacture, selling, or owning a firearm of any kind illegal. Only the police and military would have weapons. All ordinary citizens would be disarmed of all firearms, forcibly if necessary. The bill was introduced in reaction to the recent school shootings. I dare say it would promote more violence instead of less from many in this country.
None of these are going to solve the problem of violence. After all, the problem goes back to the time of creation. Just after the fall from the garden Cain murdered Abel. The problem goes to the very core of our being. Matthew 24:6-7 says,
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars.....nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom.
Jesus knew the problem would persist even till His return. Man has no solution to war. It’s not the weapons of violence we need to abolish. We are the instruments of destruction. Jesus told His disciples who we really are inside. Jesus said,
For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.
For a solution to be effective there must be a change within each of us. We must become makers of peace. But how can this be? Jesus said we could be peacemakers and be blessed. If He said it there must be a way.
1. The Definition of Peace
Some have translated the word peacemaker, "eireônopoioi", to mean; "peaceable men". However, it does not take into consideration the making or bringing of peace as in "maintainers of peace" as one commentary declared. To understand the peacemakers we need to first understand what is meant by the biblical word peace.
The root word for peace in scripture is "eirene". The word has a depth of meaning. First it means peace as the absence of war. We think of this as peace most of the time. The absence of war could be accomplished with a truce, a treaty, or a cease fire. But the word has a deeper meaning than the absence of war.
Another facet of biblical peace is an absence of hate, anger, rage, envy, and all of the reasons we wage war. We must have an inner peace for this to happen. All of the emotions that interfere with peace must be changed. Our attitude needs to be different.
The word also carries the idea of unity or oneness. Peace that is to unify us also eliminates division and connects us to become one. There is no division, only unity. Peace brings harmony.
Peace is a wonderful word but it is impossible for us to accomplish. We can make treaties, we can declare cease fires, and we can even call a truce, but inner peace and harmony without all of the negative hate filled emotions, it is unattainable for us. So how can we be "peacemakers" if we can not even attain peace for ourselves?
2. The Master of Peace
There can be no peace until we are at peace with the One who created us. Our peace must be centered on Jesus Christ. Only He can bring about a change of heart that we so desperately need. Only He can forgive the sins that separate us from God. Only His peace brings true peace that is everlasting. Ephesians 2:13-15 says,