It is central to him and is about to be so for us, making peace. In Jesus’ teachings is a phrase so important it is part of the heartbeat of his instructions on what it is to be a follower.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. – Matthew 5:9
Are there words our world needs more?
Violence is the rule of our times. From fears of global terrorism to stresses that work into and reweave our hearts, we live in a time of conflict. And worse, we surrender to the idea that nothing can be done to avoid destruction. Against this Jesus teaches – blessed are the peacemakers.
Let’s be honest, it sounds unappealing. Peacemaking means you put yourself between those who do not like each other very much. It’s like standing in the middle of the rugby scrum and saying, ‘Could we all just take a deep breath and talk this through?’ Fear tells us the rugby players will go on. You will be crushed.
Christians, however, are called to the places no one else dare go. To be between, is a hard calling because it attempts to hold a middle way when parties on either side are tempted by an easier extreme. If we think about Jesus for a moment, though, we see between is exactly where he is. Jesus stands between us and God, making peace for our sin when God would be more than justified to show us our actions and deserving wrath.
Thankfully…amazingly…Jesus steps in with an offer to make peace. In him we see God’s heart, not God’s fist. Christians are those who have accepted this offer and moreso have agreed to work with Jesus to serve in this peacemaking role. Just like him, our job is to get into the middle of a fight in order to represent a different way.
Recently, I was on a conference call with friends working to bring peace to Iraq. Often I hear others say peace will never come to this part of our world. During the call, though, one participant said this – eventually people will learn that food and blankets, medicine and fuel, bandages and a cup of water are more powerful than bullets and bombs.
Blessed are those who do so, for as Jesus said, they will be called children of God.
(thanks for reading, if you found Jesus in this please share and take a moment to leave a comment or two)