9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
The word “peace” in the New Testament means unity. God calls us to be in unity with one another because we are one body, joined by the Holy Spirit serving the same God. We are called to be agents of God’s peace, exposing His kingdom to others and the benefits of His presence in our lives. I want do something a little different today and combine some verses from the bible that talk about peace that maybe we have heard one time or another but I think would be beneficial to see them all together as a way to expound upon what Jesus is saying in Matthew. I’ve linked the passages below that I pulled from so you can read them in context if you would like:
For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him (Jesus), and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach – if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. (emphasis added)
(Romans 12:4-5, 14-18, Philippians 4:4-9, Colossians 3:12-16, Colossians 1:19-23, 2 Peter 3:14-15, 2 John 1:3)
We can clearly see that God’s peace (unity with Him and others) is not just a recipe to survive life’s difficulties, but our original design. Living in peace is important to God because it is how we were created to live. Adam and Eve lived in complete harmony with each other, with others, and the world surrounding them. When the new heavens and earth are created, we will live like that again. Until then, however, God wants us to live “on earth, as it is in heaven.” We are not only called to live this way, but we are given the tools to do so. It’s one thing to dream about living in peace, but He has given us what we need to do so! When we do, we will be called sons of God (i.e. Christians) because we will be like Christ.
Sure, Jesus exposed hypocrisy and the problem with society, but He did so peacefully and truthfully. As far as it depended upon Him, He was at peace with everyone. We must recognize that living in God’s peace isn’t about being a doormat or letting things slide because you don’t want to “cause problems.” Living in God’s peace is about fully relying on Him to guide us and keep us, holding fast to the truth regardless of what others think. Sometimes the truth hurts and it causes people to get upset, but on an eternal timeline, the painful truth is more advantageous than a comforting lie.
Where is your peace today? Are you firmly grounded in God’s truth? As far as it depends upon you, do you work to be at peace with everyone? Do you practice whatever is lovely, of good repute, and anything worthy of praise? Do you forgive everyone just as Christ forgave you? The above compilation of verses gives us instruction of how and why we should be at peace with everyone and God. Things are “happy” when they are doing what they are designed to do; we were designed to live in unity with God and others. This is why we will be blessed when we live as peacemakers, because then we will behave as sons and daughters of God.