Summary: Jesus is our peacemaker, and we should emulate Him in seeking and saving that which was lost.
That’s why the Angel of the LORD was quick to declare peace to Gideon- because at this Gideon is probably crouched on the ground waiting for the lightning bolt to fall. Gideon was so relieved that he actually built a large altar there to commemorate the experience and named it Yahweh Shalom- the LORD of Peace.
Understanding the peace of God, or how God defines peace is essential to us understanding what Jesus is teaching us here.
Peace is not the absence of conflict. IF that were true very few of the wars that the bible records should have happened, because often it was God ordering the war or bringing victory to Israel
Peace is also not the refusal to fight or to resist evil or oppression when necessary. Because we live in a fallen world sometimes peace can only happen as a result of a conflict first.
An awesome example is Rosa Parks. In 1955, segregation was the law of the land in Montgomery, Alabama and part of that law included where an African American could sit on a bus. There was a movable sign that clipped into the rows that the bus driver could move at will depending on what he perceived as the needs of the white riders.
Rosa Parks paid her fare, and sat in the “Colored only” section of the bus. As the bus made several more stops, more white people got on then there were seats in the white section, so the bus driver, James Blake got up and moved the sign toward the back of the bus so Mrs. Parks was now in the whites only section. Blake told her to get up and move back so the white people could have a seat. Mrs. Parks refused and was arrested for violating segregation laws. That incident was one of the sparks that ignited the civil rights movement.
But it came because of a conflict. It came from someone resisting oppression and evil.
Peace is not just the absence of conflict, it is the presence of justice.
So the peace Jesus is speaking of here is not total pacifism.
Remember- Jesus said His mission was not to bring peace to this earth, but a sword.
In other words, Jesus came to be divisive.
Jesus came to draw a line in the sand (illustrate- God on one side, humanity on the other), and by doing so Jesus is saying I AM that line.
So what is Jesus talking about when He says Blessed are the peacemakers?
The first thing he is talking about is that-
II. Jesus is THE Peacemaker
One of Jesus’ titles is Prince of Peace
The peace that he is talking about isn’t the absence of human conflict. When we think about peace, that’s automatically where our brains go to- considering the conflict in the world we see around us.
Jesus is talking about something much more important than our individual lives or even the condition of the world regarding conflict
Jesus is looking toward eternity because
Jesus came to repair the relationship between God and humanity.
Ephesians 2:14 For he (Jesus) himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one (talking about Jew and Gentile) and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.