We have looked within ourselves to make room for Christ in us: We empty out our spiritual pride, mourn for our sin, become meek, hunger for the Lord’s righteousness, become merciful, become pure in heart, and then we become peacemakers. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matt. 5:9)
You may have seen other translations say “they shall be called children of God”. As we discussed previously, Matthew was written primarily for Hebrews. In the culture of that day it was the sons who were blessed as heirs. If you are a believer (no matter male or female), you are the Lord’s heir (Rom. 8:14).
In the book Kingdom Ethics, Glen H. Stassen and David P. Gushee said: “Being a peacemaker is part of being surrendered to God, for God brings peace. We abandon the effort to get our needs met through the destruction of enemies. God comes to us in Christ to make peace with us; and we participate in God’s grace as we go to our enemies to make peace.” This statement points to an earlier article where I shared that the beatitudes are indeed a progression; as we won’t abandon the destruction of our enemies without purging spiritual pride, mourning, and especially meek (where even if we have the strength, we chose not to use it).
Jesus laid down His life to make peace between God and sinners and “reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18). When we carry that message of peace to others, we are peacemakers. God delights in those who reconcile others to Himself—those who bring the gospel are “beautiful” (Isaiah 52:7).
Those who bring reconciliation to broken relationships are carrying on the work of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Those who give of themselves as Jesus did in order that others may know God are called “blessed.” There is no real peace apart from a relationship with God (Romans 5:1). What may masquerade as worldly peace is merely a temporary lull in chaos (John 14:27). True peace is found only in a restored relationship with God. “‘There is no peace,’ says the LORD, ‘for the wicked’” (Isaiah 48:22).
James tells us “a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (3:18). The Lord wants you first to be filled with the blessings of peace and then to pass it on to those who have need of it. We are to “strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. (Heb. 12:14)
Those who share their faith in Jesus with others, and serve others in the name of Christ are the ambassadors for peace this verse identifies (Matt. 10:41-42). By imitating God’s love of man, the peacemakers become heirs of God. “So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” (Rom. 14:19)