Summary: This sermon in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount deals with the seventh beatitude and how we are to be peacemakers and how we go about making peace.
The Sermon on the Mount
“The Art of Making Peace”
A three-year-old boy named Matthew had his friend Luke over for playtime. Matthew, however, was having a tough time. He was arguing about the toys Luke was playing with and became very grumpy.
When his mother put him down for a nap she said, “Matthew, Luke is one of your best friends. You should really be nicer to him.” And Matthew replied, “Well, sometimes I’m just mean, and sometime I’m not, just like Dad.”
Out of the mouth of babes: “Like father like son?”
Ever notice that whenever one of our children does something we’re proud of you says, “They’re just like me.” And whenever they do something embarrassing, we say they’re just like our spouses? But either way they’re just like us.
Jesus says there’s one thing we can always do in this life that makes us just like our heavenly Father, and that’s what our seventh beatitude talks about.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9 NKJV)
Jesus is saying that when we make peace with others we’re becoming just like our heavenly Father, we’re becoming His sons and daughters.
Notice something else, Jesus doesn’t say, “Blessed are the peace lovers,” or, “Blessed are the peaceable.” Instead He says blessed or happy are those who make peace, that is, who actively seek to resolve conflict.
And so we’re supposed to be like our heavenly Father who resolved the conflict that existed between Himself and humanity, which was caused by sin. And He did so though giving to us His Son, Jesus Christ, and through His death we now can have peace with God, Romans 5:10.
The Apostle Paul says that Jesus demolished the wall that separates us from God through the blood He shed, thus making peace, Ephesians 2:13-16.
And so peacemakers
Actively Seek To Resolve Conflict
However, before we can proceed I think it’s important that we clear up several
Misperceptions Concerning Peacemaking
A. It’s Not Avoidance
Making peace isn’t avoiding an issue. It’s not running from a problem. It’s also not pretending a problem doesn’t exist. None of us like conflict, and so generally we avoid it, but if we put it off, it just keep getting bigger.
B. It’s Not Appeasement
When we always give in and let others have their way, or if we continue to let them off the hook, we’re allowing them to continually run over us, and being a peacemaker isn’t about being road kill. Jesus was a peacemaker, yet He always stood for what was right.
But why should we want to be peacemakers? It all has to do with
The Outcome Of Unresolved Conflict
I. Hinders Our Fellowship With God
The Bible says we cannot have close fellowship with God and be out of sorts with others.
“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar … He has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” (1 John 4:20-21 NIV)
When we’re out of fellowship with each other, then we’re out of fellowship with God. So it’s important we learn to resolve any conflict that might exist.
II. Hinders Our Prayers
In giving instructions to husbands the Apostle Peter tells them to treat their wives right because if we don’t then our prayers will not be heard, 1 Peter 3:7. And ladies please understand that this applies to both.
Later on in His Sermon on the Mount Jesus says,
“If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift … First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24 NIV)
If there’s unresolved conflict then our worship of God will be hindered. If we’re having a hard time hearing God, then it may be that a relationship needs mending.
I think it’s safe to say that we all need to learn how to be peacemakers. So how are we to actively seek to resolve conflict in our homes, workplaces, school, or anywhere?
How Can We Become Peacemakers
This is how I learned it. It’s following the letters in the word “Peace.”
Plan a Peace Conference
Let’s go back to the verse we looked at a moment ago. Jesus said when someone is at conflict with us we’re to
“Go and be reconciled to that person.” (Matthew 5:24a NLT)
Jesus is saying to take the initiative. Don’t wait for others to make the first move, whether we’re the offender or the offended. Please know that conflict is never resolved accidentally, nor does it resolve itself.
After I brought our church a denomination, several pastors were upset and left creating strife and conflict within the church. Knowing what the Bible says, I scheduled a sit down with them and let them air their complaints.