Recently I ran across a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and I asked “What have you been up to? He replied, “Spreading hate and dissension.” He then added, “I believe a man ought to do what he does best!” That kind of response kind of took me back a bit. In a way, I could see the humor in it, knowing that my friend really didn’t mean it, but all too often in the world we will run into people whose sole purpose seems to be that of dissident or disrupter of the peace.
In Matthew, chapter 5, verse 9, Jesus says “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Once again Jesus gives us insight into those qualities demonstrated in God-fearing and Godseeking individuals. The blessing in this statement, as in the others is not in the action (peacemaking), but in the fact that the action is taken (resulting in being called God’s children).
Peacemakers will be called the “children of God.” Why is this? I believe it is because our God is a God of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33). Even references to His Son Jesus include “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) and because we seek (as His disciples) to be like Him we should also have the characteristic of peacemaker. Remember, in James chapter 4, verse 4 we read that when “we are friends with the world we are enemies of God.” In Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross of Calvary we have reconciliation with God made available to us. In that sense, Jesus makes peace for us with God the Father. In looking at this viewpoint we can better understand Jesus’ words when He said, “No one can come to the Father except through the Son.” (John 14:6) Our peace with God comes from the cleansing of our sins, a result of our obedient faith in Christ’s atoning sacrifice.
Peacemaking is not restricted to the relationship we have with God, but also our own relationships. There are many references and examples of seeking or maintaining peace within the body of God’s people, and until we can truly say that we are seeking and living at peace with one another, we may very well be fooling ourselves into thinking we are God’s children. That blessing is available only to those who “are” peacemakers.
Copyright © 2002, Nolan P. Rutter