THE GOSPELS 32
THE CHILDREN OF GOD ARE PEACEMAKERS
With this essay we bring to a close our examination of the beatitudes and will
now move into the rest of the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount in which He teaches in graphic detail the way God really wanted His law to be interpreted. We will find the emphatic difference in a legal system to govern man’s behavior, and a spiritual system to change man’s heart and bring him into a close relationship with the Father, who is Spirit.
First however, I want to spend a bit more time with the climactic principle with which Jesus brought to a close His teaching of the seven great principles of Christianity. We are caused to look carefully at this principle because Jesus said that those who practice it shall have the ultimate title, i.e., Children of God. We have often said, in these essays, that what God desires is not rigid obedience to the law and rules of the church but a close personal loving relationship with Him. In our last essay we noted that the Hebrew word for “peace” means having a oneness with one another. Because God loves all His children, His great desire is for them to be one. In Jesus’ last prayer, that was a central concern. Therefore, it is not surprising that He should make the climax of His list of characteristics which please God, “Peacemaking”.
If there is one area in which the church has failed the Lord over the centuries, it is on this principle. Ignoring the Lord’s wishes and elevating their own personal opinions and ideas, the leaders of the church have created a long history of division, strife and competition which have destroyed any peace or oneness the body of Christ could ever have. As we study the remaining part of the Sermon on the Mount, we will find Jesus setting aside the rules of the law, as men interpreted them, and elevating those things which improve our spiritual selves and cause us to feel more responsibility for our fellowman.
We are not diplomats and so we are not going to have to deal with the issue of
world peace. Also, for most of us, our influence on the divisive state of the religious world is limited to a very small area. So, how do we implement this admonition of our Lord to be “peacemakers”?
Paul says in Romans 5, “Having been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. So the first step is to begin with myself. Is my faith in Christ a determining factor in my life? Do I spend time in prayer, asking His guidance for the decisions I must make every day? A close walk with Him is a way to oneness with the Father, and that is the beginning for a peacemaker. If you do not have peace within, you will have a difficult time creating peace without.
The next thing the peacemaker must do is to avoid all conflict. A true peacemaker never causes upsets, confrontations and disturbance. In your life at home and out in the world, do you carry a calmness with you that makes those around you feel comfortable? And are you ready to settle all disputes quickly, as Jesus told His disciples to do, and, with kindness and love, bring people together peacefully? These are things that a peacemaker does. When Jesus was on earth, in every situation He had a calming effect. From His conversation with the brash woman at the well in Samaria to the attacks by the Pharisees and the threats of mobs, He calmly stilled the storm and left them knowing they had met with a peacemaker.
To be a peacemaker you must believe that you can make a difference, and, forgetting your own interests, you must reach out to help others in every situation. This is loving your neighbor as yourself, and it is the key to acting like one of the children of God.
Most people who are converted to Christ are not converted by preachers in pulpits, but by seeing those who act like the children of God, and who bring love and peace into every situation. In this hectic and trouble-filled world, people long to find the peace and assurance that every true Christian has, and they are drawn to the peacemakers, and, through them, to the Prince of Peace.