If Jesus says it, and if the word he uses appears only one time in all the New Testament, it catches our attention. So the verse in Matthew 5.9, coming as it does as a part of the Beatitudes, at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, especially brings our head up:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.
Here go some sundry thoughts on the verse.
¶ The word “peacemakers” occurs only here. It’s a compound word. A word occuring in the plural. A word that is the focus of blessing and the definition of sonship.
¶ Why does nobody use “peacemaker” on their business card? We have Supreme Pulpit Minister and Executive Elder and a hundred other distinguished Leader-Servant Titles, but nobody goes for “peacemaker.” Why is that?
¶ Peacemakers are background people, for the most part. You can see that in our own congregations. Evangelists, who perhaps embody the peacemaker mission more than most, aren’t usually people who stand out in front. Peacemakers aren’t, can’t be, ego types.
¶ All the beatitudes are in the plural. We make individual decisions to follow Jesus, but we are in this together, we are all Kingdom subjects, members of the one body. We support one another in the peacemaking task.
¶ If there is little joy in the churches, it may be because we are missing the blessing of being peacemakers. Treasury Guards are suspicous of everybody. Peacemakers offer their joy to all.
¶ The Joy of Peacemaking is a divine joy. God loves to see people being found. Just read Luke 15. When we engage in the Divine Activity of Peacemaking, we enter into the joy of our Lord.
¶ Nations and armies send out “peacekeeping troops” and engage in “peacekeeping missions,” misnomers for sure. The Lord of the armies sends out the Church of Christ on his peacemaking mission, with no defined return date, except for a general idea of whenever the church’s Lord returns to claim the troops and their rescued souls.
¶ Jesus mentions the blessed peacemakers after he lists all the traits and attitudes necessary to being one. There seems to be something of an order to the beatitudes. And after the peacemakers comes the double blessing upon them because not everyone wants their peace. There will be repercussions and reprisals. Peacemakers cannot be naive. Jesus came to bring a sword, and not only peace.
¶ Let the churches of God pray to receive Christ’s blessing of peacemakers, to show that they are indeed the children of God, and to receive the power of the Holy Spirit to do their peacemaking work until that final day when the Lord calls all his faithful to himself.