Summary: Let’s get it right. A peacemaker is the person who has and encourages in others "peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us." (Romans 5:1). Jesus said "the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give" (John 14:27).
Matthew 5 - Part 8 - Kill the Peacemakers - Make war not Love!
"BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS - for they shall be called sons of God."
You may say "Well that’s nonsense. All you have to do is see all the so-called Christians who have been involved in bloody conflict in history, all done in the Name of God". In fact even Al-Qaeda operates in the Name of a god called Allah.
What about Joshua and David and Gideon who all went into battle because God told them to? What about all the bloodshed of the OT? It’s full of bloodshed in the Name of God! What about God Himself who floods the earth and wipes out all those people? What about Sodom and Gomorrah? That doesn’t appear very peaceful!
"Blessed are the peacemakers"! You may well say, "Tell that to the radical Muslims of the world! Tell that to Robert Mugabe! Tell that to the Iranian Government! Tell that to Al-Qaeda! To suicide bombers, to conflict ravaged Israel, to Martin Sheen! Tell that to our world today which is not exactly peaceful!" Well, that’s exactly what He did! He told us, but 2000 years later we are still not listening!
But when He told His disciples up on that mountain about this one, they did listen? What kind of leadership principle is this? What is Jesus getting at? Yeah, I know, we all want peace. That’s a given, so what’s so radically new and inspiring about this? Why was this one of the points in His leadership series of messages? And how does it gel with all the bloodshed in God’s Name in the Bible and Christian history? In America they even had a gun called the Colt Peacemaker. What a contradiction in terms!
I think the clue is that Jesus says that the "peacemakers" will be called "sons of God."
That indicates that we are talking about peace with God here primarily not some kind of man-made peace accord by some Nobel Peace Prize winner. The word Peacemakers (eirenopoios) means "to make peace between people and God" and yes, on a more general level, it also means "to bring people together; to solve disputes and erase divisions; to reconcile differences and eliminate strife; to build right relationships" but unless you get the peace with God thing right first, then you can kiss the rest goodbye.
So if it all starts with Peace with God, a right relationship with God, the question becomes personal - do I have peace with God? Because if I don’t, world peace is a pipe dream. Peace comes from the inside out, and all the work of the famous so-called peace makers like Mandela, Gandi, The Pope, or the Dalai Lama will amount to nothing in the end. Philippians 4:7 (NLT) says "Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
Let’s get it right. A peacemaker is the person who has and encourages in others "peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us." (Romans 5:1). Jesus said "the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give" (John 14:27).
It seems obvious that a peacemaker is not one to shy away from a battle or is some passive doormat kind of person. Jesus wasn’t a doormat. His disciples faced all kinds of persecution. A genuine peacemaker will never ignore the real inside issue of peace with God before tackling the peace with man problem. A genuine peacemaker will not run away from the issues. But troublemakers, through sinful behaviour, can cause a war. That’s not what God wants. We bring that on ourselves when we refuse what God offers. God actually speaks about all of us as enemies when we don’t have a personal relationship with Christ. Romans 5:10 (NIV) says
"For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him (God) through the death of His Son (Jesus), ..."
It’s the death of Christ that brings real peace on the inside and that is what results in peace on the outside and a desire to reconcile others to God. 2 Corinthians 5:19 (NLT) says,
"For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation."
The bloodshed of the world results essentially from man’s sinfulness, not from God’s wrath. His desire is to see people reconciled to Himself and eachother. Choose to remain an enemy of God and we will always experience the results - conflict within your life, conflict within your family, conflict within your community, conflict within the nation and conflict in the world. The real battle is the one against sin and that is always fought in God’s Name.