“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9)
What was the first thing that came to your mind when you heard the word peace? Did you think of someone holding up two of his fingers? Or did you imagine a bunch of people sitting around smoking drugs and listening to the Beatles? Maybe images of people marching across a bridge, while dogs attack them came to your mind, or people who are pacifists. If your brain automatically associates words with pictures, then you probably thought of an upside broken cross with a circle around it, or a blue ocean; but whatever association we attribute to this word, if it is not biblical, we will misunderstand these familiar words of Jesus The Messiah.
It is true that Christians are commanded to pursue what makes for peace (Romans 14:19), and so far as it depends on us, we should live peaceably with all (Romans 12:18), but is the war between men the predominate meaning that Jesus wanted to convey? Is one who seeks peace with men a biblical peacemaker?
On the surface it might seem that way, but man’s biggest spiritual problem is not war against himself, but war against a holy God. God revealed Himself as holy. He is also just. He must judge sin. Man is sinful and stands condemned before a holy God. God’s wrath is poured out on all mankind (Romans 1:18). Man is separated from God and there is a gulf that cannot be crossed (Isaiah 59:2). The good news [the Gospel] is that God has bridged that gap through His Son, Jesus Christ. Now for those that embrace Jesus as the Messiah, He is our peace, for both the Jew and the Gentile (Ephesians 2:14).
God is the God of peace. He has already reconciled some to Himself through the finished work or Christ on the cross. Christians don’t make peace between man and God, but we are ambassadors for Christ. God is making His appeal through us – we implore men on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:20). I believe that the true blessing Jesus speaks of in Matt 5:9 is not for marching men with peace signs, but is poured out on Christian men marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before. Peacemakers are those men who proclaim, “Be reconciled to God!”— Christ completed the work of redemption on the cross.
Brian L. Spivey – D.O.C.