Blessed Are The Peace Makers

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
Matthew 5:9 [NKJV]
 

This sounds like a simple saying but we often get it confussed. Hopefully, we will shed some light upon the truth of this scripture.

LET ME SHARE THREE THINGS ABOUT THIS BEATTITUDE

First of all: Peacemakers are “Workers”

I like the New Living Translation here: God blesses those who work for peace. Peace making is something we do. I am afraid that folks confuse Peace Making with Peaceful Living. The fact that you mind your own business and live in peace with all men does not make you a peacemaker. A true peace maker works for peace. I have known people in my brief that would not harm a fly. People so gentle, so sensitive to the feelings of others that they would never dream of getting involved in any kind of fuss, squable, or misunderstanding. Even if they had a workable solution, they would stay at home and keep it to themselves. You would never get them to involve themselves. There are always “risks” to peace making and there are some folks who are not going to take the risk. They are good people, their mind their own business but they are not peace makers.

Peace makers work toward peace; they are proactive. Years ago, a woman who was not a member of our congregation came to my house. She had a complaint about one of our members. It was one of our older Senior Adult couples and they were fine folks. I listened for a little bit and I didn’t want to be rude but finally I interupted and said, “They just live down the road, how about we go together and talk to them about this problem. I know them and I am sure that something can be worked out.” Immediately, the woman changed her attitude, “O no” said she, “I don’t want to do that: let’s just forget the whole thing. Let us just pretend that I never came and talked to you.” I said, “You don’t understand, these are salt of the earth people: they will be glad to work this problem out. They will not mind talking about it and if they are in the wrong, they will want to do what is right. Let’s go talk to them right now and get this settled once and for all.” “No, no” she said, “No need to go talk, it is settled. I shouldn’t have come to you. I want you to forget the whole thing.” She was right about one thing: she made a mistake coming to me. I knew they were good and peace loving folks and I was sure that we could work things out if we all got in the same room and discussed the problem. Her complaint was petty and she was embarrassed as well she should have been. Now, you would think that the lady would have become an enemy for life: just the opposite happened. That woman never said another critical word to me about anyone from day on. I never saw her that she did not compliment the church or one of our members. Peace makers work toward peace. Peace is not something that will just happen: we have to work for it.

Secondly: Peacemakers are willing to Sacrifice themselves

Paul said in Ephesians 2…13 But now through Christ Jesus you, who were once far away, have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 So He is our peace. In his body he has made Jewish and non-Jewish people one by breaking down the wall of hostility that kept them apart. 15 He brought an end to the commandments and demands found in Moses’ Teachings so that he could take Jewish and non-Jewish people and create one new humanity in himself. So He made peace. 16 He also brought them back to God in one body by his cross, on which he killed the hostility. 17 He came with the Good News of peace for you who were far away and for those who were near.

Jesus was and is the ultimate PEACEMAKER. He literally worked for peace and even sacrificed His body on the cross so that you and I could have peace. Had not Jesus been pro-active and willing to step out of the comforts of heaven and come to this crusty earth, you and I would have no peace–with God or anyone else. Jesus was willing to give his life for peace. He made His body a sacrifice for peace. You will never be a peace maker as long as you are thinking about your own self interest.

There is an interesting story in Fox’s Book Of Martyrs that illustrates this point…Telemachus was a monk who lived in Asia Minor around 400 AD. During his life time gladiatorial games were very popular in Rome. The gladiators were often slaves or political prisoners who were condemned to fight each other unto death for the amusement of the spectators. The sight of blood and gore on the arena floor fascinated people. Telemachus was very disturbed that the Emperor Honorius (who was a Christian) sponsored the games and that many people who called themselves ‘Christian’ went to see them. What, he wondered, could be further from the Spirit of Christ than the cruelty of these gladiatorial games? The bishops and priests spoke against them, but most people were deaf to their message. Telemachus realized that talking about this evil was not enough. But what could he accomplish – one lone monk against the whole Roman Empire? He had no power and the games had been part an established part of Roman life.One day in prayer, Telemachus sensed that the Holy Spirit was encouraging him to leave his community and go to Rome. When Telemachus arrived in Rome he was caught up into a celebration of a recent victory by the Roman Legions over the Goths. As a part of a holiday festival a circus was being staged for the jubilant multitudes. Telemachus didn’t know exactly where he was going in Rome… but he allowed himself to be swept along by the crowds. He soon found himself on the way to the Coliseum for the circus.

When the crowds arrived at the Coliseum they began to get excited by the sounds of the lions roaring their challenge and the gladiators preparing for combat. Telemachus followed the crowd into the Coliseum. There to his horror he was confronted with callous gut-wrenching carnage. Gladiators fought one another to the death. They slaughtered their hapless foes without pity as entertainment for the bloodthirsty crowds.Telemachus felt he had to do something. He simply couldn’t stand by while human beings were being beheaded, disemboweled and dismembered before his very eyes. He ran down the steps of the stands, leapt into the arena, and began darting back and forth between the fighters crying: Stop, Stop, in the name of Christ I beg you to stop!.’When the crowd saw the scrawny figure of the monk running frantically about the arena, ducking and weaving between the combatants – they took Telemachus to be a bit of welcome comic relief and roared their approval. But as time went on some of the people in the crowd began to hear what ‘the mad monk’ was saying and more and they came to realize that Telemachus was actually trying to spoil their bloody fun. Then they turned against him, hissing and booing, and bellowing at the top of their voices for his quick dispatch.The gladiators lunged at the monk with thrusts of their swords… and the audience buried him under a hailstorm of projectiles and stones. When the furore was over Telemachus lay dead in the middle of the arena.During the silence that followed his death – it was as if the monk’s last cry began to echo around the arena: ‘Stop, Stop, in the name of Christ I beg you to stop!.’Telemachus died – but not in vain. His work was accomplished the moment he was struck down. The shock of his death changed the hearts of the crowd. Then they saw the hideous aspects of this vice to which they had surrendered themselves. Emperor Honorius issued an edict that day – forbidding all future gladiatorial games. 

Telemachus was a peacemaker in every sense of the word. He was willing to interceed, to step into the fray, to take a blow from either side for the sake of peace.

Thirdly: Peacemakers are “Pure In Heart”

Peacemaker are pure in heart, they have to be. Dishonest, disinguine, duplicious and divisive people cannot be peacemakers–Peacemakers have to have a single motive, they have to have a pure heart. I cannot reason for peace if my motives are selfish. I can take only one side and it must be that of Christ. I must want what He wants if I am to be a peace maker.

Fourth and Finally: Peacemaker are “Reflections Of Their Father”

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” Who is doing the calling. I think Jesus is referring to people: people will associate with the Father when they see us work for peace. I love the Story of the Loving Father found in Luke 15…You remember the story, the older brother came in from the fields and he heard the sound of music and he sensed that something special was going on. When some of the servants told him about the party for his younger brother, the older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once did I refuse to obey you. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’ “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”

Do you see what the father is doing in the story: he is between his two sons–one is in the house and the other is outside, the father is at the door begging the older brother to come in and join the party celebrating the younger brother’s return. He is trying to make peace. He is working for peace.

I am sorry to be so blunt but “Troublemakers” have nothing is common with our Heavenly Father. No one is going to associate a troublemaker with the Father or His children. If we want to be called Children of God, we must act like Children of God.

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