Blessed are the peacemakers

(Mat 5:9 NIV)  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Maintain peace with others

Mat 5:39-42 NIV) But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. {40} And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. {41} If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. {42} Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

As far as possible, we should maintain peace with others. Maintaining peace sometimes means that we need to let others have their way. It may mean we don’t enforce our rights. It sometimes means we have to put down our pride. It may mean we need to forgive others.

Keeping peace was not only taught by Jesus, it was practiced by Him. When people treated Him badly, He did not retaliate.

(Rom 12:18 NIV)  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

It is not enough to maintain peace, the beatitude is talking about making peace. There are times when you need to make that effort of reconciliation to make the peace. This was taught by Jesus in that same Sermon on the Mount.

(Mat 5:23-24 NIV)  "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, {24} leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Is it wrong for a Christian to retaliate?

Should a Christian go to court?

Should a Christian enforce his rights?

Learning to forgive

Dealing with anger

Share the message of peace

We can also become a peacemaker between God and man. Man can have peace with God only through Jesus Christ. We become a peacemaker when we bring this message of peace to people who do not know God.

(Isa 53:5 NIV)  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

(Rom 5:1 NIV)  Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Christians are expected to be peacemakers by proclaiming the message of salvation.

(Isa 52:7 NIV)  How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

Mediating conflicts

As peacemakers, we also have the responsibility to mediate the differences of others.

(Phil 4:2-3 NIV)  I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. {3} Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Paul looks for intervention. “Yea, I beseech thee also, true yokefellow, help these women” (v. 3). Paul encouraged this faithful member of the church in Philippi to give assistance.

Noteworthy is the fact that Paul addressed this mediator as a “true yokefellow” (i.e., an authentic co-worker in the Lord). A qualified person can assist in problem solving by focusing on resolution. He will not become part of the problem. As the apostle Paul indicated, a capable intermediary may be able to make a positive contribution in settling a conflict.

(James 3:18 NIV)  Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

Praying for world peace

The Bible exhorts us to pray for world leaders so that the world will be in peace.

(1 Tim 2:1-3 NIV)  I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- {2} for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. {3} This is good, and pleases God our Savior,

When we read the news today, the headlines are almost dominated by wars and strive in many parts of the world. We need to pray that the leaders involved will have the wisdom and the restrain to maintain peace.

We may think, “What can the prayer of one person make a difference to the world situation?” Our prayers can make a difference because the Bible says that the prayer of a righteous man is effective. If we live our lives right before God, our prayers will make a difference.

(James 5:16 NIV)  The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

One practical suggestion is to make an effort to pray for peace and for world leaders whenever we hear or read the news.

What happens when we become peacemakers?

When we make peace, we will be called sons of God. It does not mean we will be sons of God. We become sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ. But when we become peacemakers, people will call us sons of God because that is such a distinctive trademark that differentiates us from the non-believers.

(Mat 5:43-47 NIV)  "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' {44} But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, {45} that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. {46} If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? {47} And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

I like the translation of these two versions better in verse 45.

(CEV)  Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong.

(GW)  In this way you show that you are children of your Father in heaven. He makes his sun rise on people whether they are good or evil. He lets rain fall on them whether they are just or unjust.