9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
When God created man, there was peace between God and Adam, and Eve. It was the decision of Adam and Eve to disobey God that broke the peace. There are two reasons for lack of peace in the world: the opposition of Satan to God’s plan, and man’s disobedience to God.
In the Old Testament, the word most often used is shalom, which not only means a lack of war, but also a wholeness, prosperity or well-being that pervades a person, usually coming from a relationship of love and loyalty with God and one another. In the New Testament, the Greek word for peace is Irene. It describes a peace which comes from a true reconciliation between God and man based on the New Covenant in the blood of Jesus shed for us at the cross in payment for our sins. God calls Himself the God of Peace (Jud 6:24, Rom 15:33, Phil 4:9, 1 Cor 14:33, 2 Cor 13:11, and 2 Thes 3:16. Jesus is called the Prince of Peace in Is 9:6.
This section of the beatitudes is about demonstrating our love for Jesus in action like demonstrating mercy and maintaining a pure, clean heart for service to Him. As we come back to Jesus for our strength over and over again we are able to walk out these “action” beatitudes.
When we talk about peace, we often think of an absence of war. There are temporary truces and peace negotiations, but they’re not permanent. Peace in the bible is not about concessions or compromises, because the goal isn’t peace between people. Biblical peace is about dissolving the ground of conflict that separates two people, which is always about sin. It’s pride, it’s strife, it’s greed, and covetousness that causes conflict and wars, and so biblical peace has to deal with the sin problem first.
In James 3:17, 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, free of hypocrisy. So, first purity and righteousness, then peace.
Since, as we are reminded of in Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else, and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? And Isaiah says in 57:21 “There is no peace,” Says my God, “for the wicked.”. That leaves the search for peace through any means except righteousness is really an exercise in futility.
For there to be peace, both parties have to want peace. You can’t have peace, if only one side is seeking it. Peace with God is something that God has wanted from the beginning. We’re the ones who broke the peace, and so if we come to Him on His terms, He will make peace with us. He has even sacrificed His own son, allowing Him to be murdered at Calvary, so that Christ could achieve victory over sin, and make peace between God and Man possible for a Righteous and Just God. We just have to reach out our hand and make peace with God by accepting His offer of forgiveness based on a relationship with His son whom He has sent.
For they shall be called Sons of God
This is an action beatitude, it means that we have marching orders from our Father in Heaven to do something here. We have work for the Kingdom to do. 2 Corinthians 5:17-19: 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their wrongdoings against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
Reconciling people to God is what being a peacemaker is all about, and it’s only possible if we ourselves have been reconciled to God, in Christ. This wisdom to conduct the business of God that is first pure, then peaceable comes out in our ministries as (James 3:18) 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. We sow righteousness in the peace that we have in Jesus if we are those who make peace—peacemakers.
Sometimes you’re actually going to come into conflict because you are a peacemaker. This does not make you less of a peacemaker, but more-so. Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted as it says in 2 Tim 3:12. And what should be our attitude when this happens? Paul tells us in 10 Therefore I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in distresses, in persecutions, in difficulties, in behalf of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong. It’s receiving these kinds of Worldly conflicts with delight in the opportunity to serve God that makes the difference. That’s the kind of behavior that has no earthly explanation, and the kind of behavior that will get the attention of a generation that is disillusioned with the broken promises of lasting peace and unity. Or as Jesus will tell us later in the sermon on the Mount in Mathew 5:43-45a 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may prove yourselves to be sons of your Father who is in heaven;
And so, we see, that it’s this ministry of reconciliation, this leading people to Jesus by teaching them the truth about God through our words and actions, that marks us as true citizens of the kingdom, true sons of God. And because this takes place as a witness to people, this verse emphasizes that we “will be called” sons of God—the testimony of Christ that it gives, is emphasized. People are watching you, Christian, to see if there is a difference between you and the world. Pursuing this ministry of reconciliation God’s way is the quickest way to show that difference.