Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God. [Matthew 5:9 ESV]
We are hard put to find anywhere in Scripture an example of God mediating peace between two warring nations are tribes or families or people. He simply does not. Even Jesus confronts those who would make Him such a judge or mediator. “Someone in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ But he said to him, ‘Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?’” [Luke 12:13-14 ESV]. Having peace with God is primary. Jesus will not be manipulated into choosing sides. He came to bring peace between people and their God which would result in peace between people.
A true peacemaker is not someone who seeks to mediate peace, or resolve conflict between two people. Instead, they seek to lead a person to a place where they have peace with God. But first, they must know intimately what it means to have peace with God. Having peace with God never guarantees cessation of disagreement, anger, conflict or war between peoples. In fact, when someone has peace with God there is a greater probability they will not have peace with those who surround them.
In the world a peacemaker is one who seeks compromise. With God there is no place for compromise. Peace with God means release from the consequences of sin by the sacrifice of His Son on the cross. He did not compromise this act, nor did Jesus accept a compromise. Instead, He fulfilled all of the requirements of the eternal law of God. He, sinless God, suffered the judgment of our sin, releasing those who are His from the eternal consequences of separation from Him. In the place of sin He gave Christ’s righteousness, an unfair but just exchange.
Peacemakers do not try to smooth over a person’s feelings about sin but force them to confront the reality of sin. They hold up the mirror of truth so the person will see they are separated from God because of their rebellion against Him. God uses His sons to convince those He is calling of their spiritual poverty and bring them to the breaking point where they mourn deeply over what sin has done to them. To the world, to the individuals captured by the world, true peacemakers are seen as hateful and unloving. Theirs’ is a tough love which cares more for a righteous relationship with God than an unrighteous and unholy relationship in the world. Peacemakers are used by God to break the will, not the spirit, of the one under conviction. They cannot do for anyone what only God does, but they are used by God, an instrument in His hand to cause the recognition of sin, the realization of its consequences, and ultimately the relinquishing of control back to God.
Then begins a process which culminates in the person called becoming a peacemaker themselves. Once the will is submitted to God (His strength in me under His control) there comes a hungering and thirsting for the righteousness given by God through the sacrifice of His Son. God has changed the person, making them new. Now He begins fitting them for eternity while using them as a witness for Him to others in the world. The thinking and desires of their hearts are turned toward God and His righteousness.
They begin to love God and those around them. God actively showed them love through His mercy and now they actively love others by showing God’s mercy. Never will those who truly love God and others excuse sin. They cannot because of the way God has eternally changed them. God purges sin making pure those who will be eternally in His presence, for only the pure in heart will see God. Only the pure in heart are able to love God purely. God loves us. He enables us to love Him. God uses us to show His love to those in the world regardless of whether they love Him or not. Some of those in the world are drawn to the God of love and changed into the likeness of His Son.
There are those who rebel against God though all of the evidence of His love for them is apparent. They hate Him and even if they were eyewitnesses to Jesus rising from death they would not believe. God leaves those who are His within the world for two reasons. He is preparing us for eternity and we are His witnesses to the world. It is not always the task of a witness to convince others of truth but to proclaim truth no matter the circumstance. We may stand surrounded by those who are His enemies, and ours, and live truth with full assurance God sees and works His will. We may physically die for Him because of truth but will live for eternity in His presence. Though the world hate us because of Him we show our love for Him by living truth.
God does not work on parts of people. He changes the whole person, conforming them to the likeness of His Son, fitting the whole person for eternity with Him. These seven verses are a description of the whole person of God.
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
- Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
- Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. [Matthew 5:3-9 ESV]
God does all of this in the person. None of it is done by the person themselves. Remember, obedience is not meritorious but commanded and expected. God created man, and recreated those who are His, for obedience and love. Where there is rebellion there is judgment or discipline. Where there is obedience there is peace, true, abiding, eternal peace with God. This is a peace the world cannot take away.