“Blessed are the peacemakers…” Matthew 5:9a
The word “Blessed” means happy, fortunate, or well. A peacemaker brings divided parties back together. They settle things down, which helps them settle the issue. But making peace is contrary to our selfish natures. So, imagine what these tribal Jews thought as Jesus encouraged them to make peace with everybody (Samaritans and Romans too). They wanted Messiah to bring war, not peace - similar to today. So many are split down the aisles of life (politics, gender, race and religion). God took down the dividing wall of hostility (Eph. 2:14) and He wants us to carry on with the mission. Those who “get” this will become the peacemakers and be happy for doing so.
“…Have salt in yourselves, be at peace with each other.” Mark 9:50
Salt has long been used for flavoring, but in Jesus’ day, it was also a preservative. God, the ultimate peacemaker, came to preserve relationships. He became our cure. This is who we have been made to be and do (new nature). A conflict can reveal the nature of other people, who: like to sit back and watch the “fun”; choose sides to help their “team” win; or stir the pot to keep it going. But peacemakers are different - they try to bring unity.
“How good and pleasant it is when brother’s live together in unity!” Psalm 133:1
…proves we belong to God.
“…For they will be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9b
Jesus introduced a whole new concept when He said they will be called sons of God. This was not how the Jews thought about God. He was always God, Jehovah or the LORD, but never “Father”, this was new. To be a son of God meant a deeper connection to Him. As sons, they were to bear the characteristics of their father and carry on his work. In Jesus’ day, sons followed the “ways” of their fathers.
“…And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
To act justly means to treat others the way you want to be treated. To love mercy is to treat people well even if they do not treat you well. To walk humbly means to be full of grace and gratitude to the Lord. Living by these three principles will make peace in every relationship. As God’s sons, peacemaking is a required family rule.
from sermon notes 3/13/22