Summary: History shows that most peacekeeping efforts by and large have failed. So what does Jesus mean by being a peacemaker?
We live in a world characterized by fighting, wars, and animosity at every level of society. It’s everywhere.
Lady Astor once said to Winston Churchill, “If you were my husband, I’d put poison in your coffee.” Churchill responded, “And if you were my wife, I’d drink it.”
We laugh at this, but it shows how all of us are inclined to quarrel. Some of us have clashed with so many people that we don’t know how to live peaceably with others. I’ve known some people that don’t seem happy unless they’re fighting with others. Let’s face it – we enjoy being the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s.
History shows that most peacekeeping efforts by and large have failed. In fact, in nearly 4000 years of recorded history, the world has been at peace a total of only 286 years including over 8000 treaties made and broken.
Tonight we are going to look at another attitude that Jesus says we are to have to be His disciples. Matt. 5: 9; “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
It’s easy to be naïve about peace, yet peace can be very elusive. One moment you can have peace at home, at work, or in your relationships, and the next it’s gone. I heard of a group of people walking across America on a mission of peace. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get along so they divided into (2) groups halfway thru the trip.
Sometimes even at church peace is hard to find. Somehow many believers have managed to take the words of Jesus – “Where two or three are gathered in my name I will be in their midst,” and turn that verse into, “Where two or three gather together in Jesus’ name, eventually there will be conflict.” It’s pitiful! But true.
The fact that the lack of peace is so prominent is nothing new. We can trace it back to the book of Genesis. Humans have been at war with God ever since Adam and Eve sinned. And, beginning with the conflict between Cain and Abel, which eventually led to one brother killing the other, we’ve been in battle w/ one another.
So when Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers” he totally shocked those around Him. How could the Jews hope to overthrow Rome and restore their nation to a place of prominence if they were going to have to be “peacemakers?” The Romans weren’t going to just lie down and let Israel have their way.
It‘s within this context that Jesus promised to bless the people who’d become His agents for peace saying that the peacemaker would be called the “sons of God.” This means that every Christian, according to this Beatitude, is responsible for being a peacemaker in their home, church, community, nation, and ultimately, the world.
Before we proceed, let’s describe what biblical peace is not: It’s NOT the absence of hostility. The biblical concept is much deeper than an absence of conflict or a vacation to get away from it all.