Summary: Peacemakers do something to improve the situation.
Text: Matthew 5:9
Truth: Peacemakers do something to improve the situation.
Aim: To motivate them to be responsible to improve the situation.
Write this down: “Do something to make the situation better.”
You now have the definition and description of a peacemaker. Some here this morning have a relationship in your family or friends that is broken or harmed. Do something to improve the situation. Others have a habit or addiction that causes them guilt. Do something to improve the situation. Some are stuck in a life situation that leaves them sad and hopeless. This is not what you envisioned for your life. Do something about it. You name the trouble and the difference between those who are blessed and those who are cursed is that the blessed is a peacemaker. He does something to improve the situation.
Wanda was 50 years old. She flew to the home of her son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren and gave herself a birthday party. Then because a neighbor was ill and she was concerned about her, she hurried home.
On a long airplane flight, most people will speak politely to their seatmates. Wanda was no exception. As she talked about her birthday party, she said, “This was a very special trip for me because the doctors say I have less than 90 days to live.”
Then she explained that she had had cancer for ten years and had been operated on nine times. The doctors wanted to perform a tenth surgery, but she said, “Nine is quite enough.”
Wanda had been employed throughout her ten-year battle with cancer. She began by volunteering at a nursing home. After a while, the administration at the home began to pay her. Just two months before her birthday party, state inspectors said no one could do that job unless they had four years of college. Wanda had dropped out of high school after the first year.
It did not matter that she had been performing the job above standard for almost ten years. She did not meet the standard job qualifications, so she was fired.
“That’s all right,” she said, “they were ten great years. I made many friends. It was a happy time. And, besides, if you know the rules, you must follow them. So they were correct to let me go.”
“Your son must have married young for you to have grandchildren already, “ her traveling companion remarked.
“Actually, he’s 34,” Wanda said. “I got married when I was 15. Both of my foster parents died within 24 hours of each other and it was the only way to avoid going to another home.”
Just before the flight ended, Wanda said, “My husband left before our son was two. I’ve had a hard life, but it has been a very, very good life.”
“How do you feel about dying?” her friend asked.
“I love living,” Wanda said. “Life has been beautiful. But I am not afraid, because as a very small child, I found peace.” (David Sisler, Lifeway)
It is rare to find someone who can say honestly, “I have had a beautiful life. It is because I have inner peace.” But this is the promise, this is the blessing, Jesus offers peacemakers.
To be a peacemaker requires the pre-existing condition of conflict. In 3500 years of recorded human history, there has been peace less than 10 percent of that time. No American generation has known peace. One historian said America had peace from 1865, the year the Civil War ended, until 1898. But he conveniently forgot the federal governments war with the Plains Indians.
Wyatt Earp named his Colt 45 revolver “Peacemaker.” That’s what the world considers a peacemaker. It is using brute force to coerce people to stop hostilities. Jesus did not come to externally coerce us to live at peace but to go to the root, to effect an internal transformation that would cause us to do something to live at peace with God and others. One day Jesus will bring such a peace to this world that the lion will lay down with the lamb, but until that day He has let loose in this world a group of people who are to be peacemakers.
Let’s ask three questions of this text.
I. WHAT IS PEACE?
English, Greek, and Hebrew have a slightly different slant on the idea of peace. In English the word peace means an absence of conflict or strife. It has about it the idea of serenity. If Israel and Hezbollah would stop bombing one another you would hear reporters say that peace has returned to the region. They’d only mean that there was an absence of conflict and strife.
The Greek language, of which the N.T. is written in, includes the idea of rest and to agree upon certain terms. On the other hand, the Hebrew language, and Jesus was a Hebrew, has the idea of everything that makes for a person’s highest good. English would say we don’t have trouble with another person, but the Hebrew emphasis would mean that the relationship is loving.