“O the blessedness of the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9
What does it mean to be a peacemaker?
In our relativistic ecumenical age, the concept of Biblical peace has been greatly distorted. Many define peace as an absence of conflict. Webster’s dictionary defines peace as “a state of tranquility or quiet. For example, a freedom from civil disturbance, or a state of security and order within a community that is produced by law or custom. The above definitions fall far short of a Biblical definition. Biblical peace is the presence of righteousness. Sin separates us from God and causes conflict between the creature and his/her Creator. No peace can exist in such a condition. We gain a huge insight as we consider James 3:17 which states:
“the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable.”
In other words, purity precedes peace. Peace comes through righteousness. Those who are true peacemakers are those who confront conflict with righteousness. They do not ignore conflict, nor compromise righteous standards, but bring God’s will to reconcile the situation by challenging sin. Hence, Biblical peace may create serious conflict. That is why Jesus stated, in Matthew 10:34-39:
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me, and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Who ever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
This passage sounds contradictory but it is not. Jesus did come to produce peace between the believer and God, and peace among men. However, the inevitable result of Christ’s coming created conflict between Christ and the forces of evil, between light and darkness, between Christ’s children and the children of Satan. This conflict can occur within a family. Total commitment to Christ is more important that any other relationship. A true peacemaker must understand all this.