Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God
In the seventh beatitude Jesus pronounces a blessing on the peacemaker. Unlike the kingdoms of this world that are established by war and bloodshed, Jesus’ other-worldly kingdom is established by peace and is comprised of a peacemaking people. The English word “peace” usually refers to one of two things: inward tranquility – peace of mind or world peace – the absence of war. While the Classical Greek term eirene primarily refered to the absence of war, in the New Testament eirene incorporates the breadth of meaning conveyed by the Hebrew, “shalom,” which is much more comprehensive. While “peace” might be likened to a point on a line in two dimensions; “shalom” is like a sphere that encompasses relationships in every direction. Shalom describes reconciliation, enjoyment and prosperity in all dimensions – with God, our community, our surroundings, as well as ourselves. Peacemakers are reconcilers of man to God and man to man within their communities and in their world.
To be a peacemaker is not a property of one’s natural disposition; it has nothing to do with an easy-going personality or the attitude of an appeaser who does anything to avoid conflict. The peacemaking that Jesus enjoins is not a passive acceptance of whatever comes along. Jesus is not blessing a peace-loving or peace-wanting or even a peace-living people, but those who are actively seeking to confront and resolve problems to bring them to a conciliatory end. In a fallen world, peace-making often intersects with confrontation and struggle. Undoubtedly Jesus brought peace, but His peace is not like that of the world; the peace that Jesus brought involves conflict with family members and friends; and we are called to be peacemakers in the same way, do whatever it takes to promote shalom with God, others and ourselves.
As we work to bring shalom or reconciliation of the world to God and to each other, we are doing God’s work; and therefore we resemble Him. We are called “sons of God,” because of the resemblance that peacemakers have to the Father, who on several occasions in the Scripture is called, “the God of peace.”
Read Col 1:19-23, Eph 2:11-20, Heb 13:20-21. Consider how this “God of peace,” who is called “Prince of peace” (Isaiah 9:6), dealt with the discord of the world due to sin – the “anti-shalom.” Consider the lengths He went through to assure ultimate reconciliation with the entire cosmos, even with His own very enemies.