And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed [are] they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed [are] the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed [are] they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed [are] the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed [are] the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you,] and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.Matt.5:1-12
Two Key Points
For readers who have been following along in the blessed series from the teaching of Jesus in the book of Matthew, there is likely a growing awareness of two key points. First, it is important not to view or see the blessed teachings in isolation of each other; they are rather quite interrelated and interdependent. Second, since they all go together, it is becoming more evident that they all stem from and originate from God as their source.
Source of Blessings
Recall during the last Bible Study on the subject of being pure in heart. Something that profound must come from the regenerated spiritual rebirth through a person’s belief in the Lord Jesus Christ as their atoning savior. Similarly, any notion of being blessed as peacemakers from a Godly perspective must have its origin in this same regeneration of spirit within us. Jesus is not inferring a world peace movement as in global peace versus war, not to diminish the merit of that initiative. He is rather making the point that inward spiritual peace is derived from new birth in Christ, much as Paul indicated, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” [Rom. 5:1]
God is our Peace
The emphasis here is that spiritual peace comes from God since scripture indicates him as being described as peace himself, “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever.” [Heb. 13:20] Spiritual transformation therefore, is the pathway in which inward spiritual peace originates through the indwelling Christ within you.
This premise also harmonizes with the prophetic declaration of the Prince of Peace, proclaimed seven centuries before Jesus was manifested in the flesh on earth, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” [Is. 9:6] This is truly the source of the blessed peacemakers where seekers of faith will indeed find everlasting peace in their life!
It is also important to highlight that peace obtained through the Christian faith is completely different from peace that may be derived from worldly pursuits, whether it be from other religions, meditation or any other initiative that may instill a sense of inner peace. While these may have some carnal or mental benefits for people, they are respectfully not originating from the regenerated spiritual rebirth. As Jesus was speaking to his disciples, he differentiated between this exact same point, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” [John 14:27]
Peace in Jesus
As Jesus was speaking further with his closest disciples he also indicated that peace comes from dwelling in him, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33] Paul also wrote in his letters the distinction between carnality (earthly focused life) versus a spiritually focused life, “For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace.” [Rom. 8:6] Paul further wrote to Christians in Rome listing more distinguishing points to clarify the point of the physical realm versus the spiritual realm, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” [Rom. 14:17]
Interestingly, all the letters written in the New Testament tend to commence with prefatory greetings that encompass the many blessings that come from God, such as peace, thus reinforcing the point that they collectively originate from God and indwell believers through Christ. This commonality of greetings is evident in all letters to Christians as shown in one of Paul’s letters, “Grace, mercy, [and] peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.” [1 Tim. 1:2]
When people gain a sense of peace from God they will find that it is much like all other attributes from God as Paul writes, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” [Phil. 4:7] In reality, the depth of peace, the depth of purity, the depth of God’s mercy and love are truly beyond measure and human comprehension.
Living as Peacemakers
Christians are then able to personify the phrase blessed are the peacemakers which is principally done in two ways. The early disciples of Jesus did this by sharing the gospel, or good news of the risen saviour to a world in need of a saviour, “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” [Rom. 10:5] John the Baptist’s father spoke prophetically on how Jesus would bring a way of peace and believers were commissioned to share the gospel, “To give light to them that sit in darkness and [in] the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” [Luke 1:79]
The apostle Peter also spoke about the same path of peace in the early years of the church when preaching to the multitudes, “The word which [God] sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:).” [Acts 10:36] This message of peace through the gospel is only obtained from what Jesus did for all of us on the cross through his atoning sacrifice, “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him.” [Col. 1:20]
The Peace of God
To summarize, this is the true peace that comes from the living God and not from any worldly pursuits or ventures, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” [Col. 3:15] As Paul often commenced his letters with a greeting of peace, he also concluded his letters in a similar heartfelt and sincere manner with common writings, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful [is] he that calleth you, who also will do [it.]” [1 Thes. 5:23-24]
Children of God
The last part of this Blessed Peacemaker is “they shall be called the children of God.” What a statement of incomprehensible blessing to be called a child of the living God, for as Paul wrote, “For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” [1 Cor. 14:33] To see the vital importance of peacemakers is something clearly not to be taken lightly as it is written, “Follow peace with all [men,] and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” [Heb. 12:14]
As readers embark on living out the indwelling Christ in their lives, be encouraged to seek out where the gospel of peace may be shared with people in need and to find ways of living in peace, not only among fellow people of faith and loved ones, but strangers and individuals with whom Godly peace will truly be a blessing upon them. Paul concludes one of his letters in this spirit of love and kindness for all to consider, “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” [2 Cor. 13:11]
Bible Study Questions
- In this study on Blessed are the Peacemakers, what are two key points noted in the opening?
- How would you describe spiritual peace verses peace that may be obtained from worldly initiatives?
- Who is the Prince of Peace as noted by the prophet Isaiah?
- In Philippians 4:7, what peace passes all understanding and will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus?
- In Colossians 1:20, what does it mean when the peace is made through the blood of the cross to reconcile all things to himself?
- True or false, peacemakers will be called the children of God?
- Is there an area in your life where you could instill more peace with someone whom you love?