Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5: 9
We have experienced how the Beatitude of a pure heart elevates the quality of relationships to an entirely different dimension. God’s spirit compels us to guard these relationships as precious jewels: pure, polished, and maintain them transparent at all times.
As peacemakers we are God’s persistent protagonists of peace at all times, a daunting challenge in our earthly environment, requiring strong courage, faith, and wisdom that only originates from God.
Joseph of the Old Testament was a powerful peacemaking instrument for God. His forgiving heart and sensitive spirit, coupled with caring and responsible actions made Joseph an extremely effective peacemaker in every difficult situation he encountered
- Being sold into slavery by his jealous brothers
Resisting the seductive attempts by the wife of his master in Egypt
- Receiving his brothers and granting their request for food.
- Healing the hurt created by his brothers with the balm that God had transformed their evil intentions for good
- Bringing his family to Goshen for the formation of God’s future people.
Yet who is the primary peacemaker in all the history of man?
When Jesus’ spirit reigns in our lives, and we are truly pure in heart, as we see in Joseph’s life—we will become peacemakers on this earth.
Jesus’ Teachings on Peacemaking
The adage “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” (Deuteronomy 19:21) is thought to biblically justify vengeance, but in reality it was meant to equalize revenge, keeping the injured party from exceeding the wrong done to them.
Jesus, the incarnate Word of God, voiced God’s perspective on such attitudes of revenge in his Sermon on the Mount, first in Matthew 5:39, “But I tell you do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek; turn to him the other also.” An emotional knee-jerk reaction, although very natural and seemingly justifiable, is not the way of God.
Jesus then proceeded with practical applications of that day, “If anyone wants to sue you, and take your shirt, give him your coat also. And he who forces you to go one mile, go with him two.” The Roman soldier was a universally hated figure, a symbol of forced foreign rule upon the Jewish nation. Under Roman law any soldier could compel a Jew to carry his armor the distance of one mile. Imagine the reaction of that soldier, accustomed to stubborn resistance and constant complaining, to be asked at the end of the first mile, “Sir, may I assist you for another mile?” Surely, that soldier’s mouth would drop open to inquire amazingly why this additional service was being offered. Such an opportunity opened the door to share about God’s great love for all mankind, even this despised Roman soldier. What an unexpected appeal this circumstance could open to announce God’s love for someone of “the world”!
Peace is love personified and must be the true distinguishing mark of any follower of Christ as Jesus shares in John 13:34, “A new commandment I give you, love one another, even as I have loved you, that you love one another. By this all men shall know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Such a level of love cannot to be jealously guarded and practiced only among believers, but rather should be an overflowing, crusading current that sweeps others into God’s family.
Jesus desires to attract mankind to him; and a primary magnetizing manner is through supernatural expressions of love and concern by his children made possible by His Spirit working in us! The Beatitudes challenge, compel, and enable us to live out the Second Greatest Commandment, because of their transforming power of God in us!
True peacemakers provide some of the greatest demonstrations of God’s love on this planet! Will you be one of them?
In Part 2 we will take a look at Peacemaking Tools for the Kingdom.