Summary: Just as Jesus predicted our world is a constant hotbed of continual armed conflict (Matt 24:6).War is a constant reality of life. It into this world filled with violence and hate that Jesus sends his disciples (followers) as ministers of peace.
“Blessed Are The Peacemakers”
Just as Jesus predicted our world is a constant hotbed of continual armed conflict (Matt 24:6).War is a constant reality of life. At least one source I read said that there are at least 33 ongoing conflicts in the world today. In spite of mankind’s intellectual accomplishments, we only seem to devise more efficient means of killing each other. It is said that our nation’s capital is full of peace monuments; “We erect them after every war.” [Don MacLean quoted in Lloyd Cory, “Quote Unquote.”] One cynic remarked that, “Peace is the moment when nations take time to reload.”
Terrorist attacks have convinced us that we are not safe even within our own borders. It into this world filled with violence and hate that Jesus sends his disciples (followers) as ministers of peace. In Matthew 5:9 He says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.”
I think I can say with complete honesty this morning that I am here today because I desire peace:I desire peace in my own heart! I desire to see peace in your heart! I desire to see peace exist between each of us! And I want each of us to learn to be peacemakers.
In order to understand this Beatitude, we must as we have with each of the Beatitudes, begin by understanding what Jesus means.
First, The Meaning Of Peace
In reality in this world in which we live we do not have economic peace, religious peace, racial peace, social peace, family peace, or personal peace.
When two Jews meet they exchange the greeting; “Shalom” or “Peace,” but they mean much more than “May you have no battles!” Peace is obviously more than just the absence of war! “Shalom” is a positive word, not a negative one. When a Jewish person said “Shalom” they are not talking just about the absence conflict but it is a wish for something positive in their lives. And when Jesus speaks of peace in this Beatitude, He is not referring to the mere absence of conflict but the presence of peace.
Secondly, The Enemy To Peace – Sin
Have you ever wondered, “Why has every human effort at lasting international peace failed? Why did the League of Nations fail? Why will the United Nations ultimately fail? What is the problem?” There is but one adequate answer to the question; it is not political solution, it is not social solution, it is not economic solution. The one answer is essentially and primarily, moral and theological.
Scripture states it this way, “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?” (James 4:1)The trouble then is in the heart of man, and until the heart of man is changed, you will never solve his problem by trying to manipulate his circumstances.
Third, The Source Of Peace - God
The word “make”(poieo) means “to make” or “to do.” The point is that peace must be made. Peace never happens by chance. But we may get a false idea from the phrase “peacemaker” that making this peace up to us; that is not it at all – we are to be the messengers of peace.
Men are without peace because they are without God the source of peace. Our God is the God of peace. Six separate times in the New Testament our Father is called the God of peace. The source of peace is God – there is no other source. Jesus Christ the Son is the manifestation of peace – Prince of Peace. The Holy Spirit is the agent of peace. It is the Holy Spirit applies and supplies the peace of God in our lives. The God of Peace sent the Prince of Peace who sends the Spirit of Peace to give the Fruit of Peace (Galatians 5:22). If you and I are to be peacemakers we must know God and draw upon His supply of peace.
Fourth, The Messengers Of Peace: Believers
• What a peacemaker is not!
We need to understand what being peacemaker is not!
Peace is not found in appeasement.
History has proven when peace is pursued “at any price” – peace is precisely what you do not get! At the outbreak of hostilities in Europe in 1937 when German invaded Czechoslovakia the English Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain went to Germany to talk with Adolf Hitler about peace. He basically gave Hitler the territory he wanted and he returned with a signed peace agreement and said we have achieved “peace for our time.” The next year German invaded Poland.
Peace is not found in compromising truth.
When you tell someone the truth is will not always be received gratefully. Any one in a position to preach the Word of God is well aware of this! When the Word of God is preached truthfully it is not all that unusual to find out that it made someone in the congregation angry. When the preaching of the Word of God evokes a reaction, that message has been effective. The word of God when given out effective provokes a reaction. If you can hear the Word of God preached Sunday after Sunday and it never provokes a reaction from you, “Either I am Not preaching or you are not listening.”