In Matthew 5:9, within the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” As all Scripture should, as I was reading and pondering this verse, especially in the greater context of the Sermon on the Mount, it forced me to take a closer look at myself and where my focus and priorities lie. I would argue that peace is obtained when we have Christ at the top of our list and allow Him to be the lens or filter through which we view and approach everything that we face. Knowing that we have the keys to true peace through Christ, what then does it mean for us to be peacemakers?
Not only is Christ our source of peace, but He is also the perfect example of what it means to be a peacemaker. If you had to sum up the purpose of Jesus’ life and ministry into one main concept I would say that Luke 19:10 might fit the bill, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”Through Jesus taking our sins upon His shoulders and dying the death we all deserved, we were reconciled and now have peace with God, through Christ. Jesus’ life and ministry were to be a peacemaker to all mankind.
Paul writes about this in his letter to the church at Ephesus, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:13-19).
Not only have we been given the direction of the Beatitudes found within Matthew chapter 5, but we are also called to be imitators of Christ. John puts it simply when he writes, “Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked”(1 John 2:6). Sometimes I think it is easy to fall into a trap of seeing others in a judgmental way when they do not walk or believe the same way that we do, or how we think they ought to be living. In order to be the peacemakers we are called to be, we need to go out of our way to listen, love, and serve those that we disagree with or differ from.
Philippians 2:3-7 adds, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”