PEACEMAKER

PEACEMAKER

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Matt.5:9

Jesus had a very different way to teach, so simple, but deeper than the oceans in wisdom and truth. What exactly did Jesus mean by his phrase “peacemaker”? Is being a “peacemaker” a possibility in our current culture? Am I a “peacemaker”? Actually the jewish mindset for peace, at the time of Christ, was quite different from what ours is today. For the jewish man in Jesus’ world peace was more than an absence of war or strife. Peace had some powerful positive connotations. Here are some observations about peace from the Full Life Bible Commentary.

“Like some of the other beatitudes, English and Western concepts do not fit the words Jesus uses. Our word “peace” is a pitiful parallel for what Jesus meant. We often define peace as a state opposite of war and peacemaking as putting aside a conflict for a truce – a concept that also fits the classical Greek usage of the word. The Hebrew word shalom better reflects Jesus’ intent. Shalom is a state of wholeness in individuals or nations, including safety, health, and wealth in the context of God’s covenant with His people.
True peace is based on God’s covenant of peace” with his people (Ezek. 37: 26). It is the nature of God’s blessing for his faithful people, who are in right relationship with him. Mere absence of military strife and material wealth are not God’s peace.
God’s peace is much deeper, more thorough, and more meaningful. Numbers 6:24-26 expresses it well: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” The reference to God’s face speaks of his presence, which is the ultimate source of his peace.”

So what is a peacemaker? The life of a peacemaker is the life of spreading the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Once you have tasted the kindness of our Lord and drunk from His cup of peace, the only response is to spread this life to whomever we can. The perfect example would be the earthly ministry of Jesus. He went about doing good and healing all who were harassed by the enemy. He brought forgiveness, healing, provision, and salvation, He brought God’s peace. Jesus brought shalom everywhere He went. What else could He do, after all, He is the Prince of Peace.

2 Replies to “PEACEMAKER”

  1. Oh Yeah, how could I not take the opportunity to look into the word ‘peacemaker’. What an awesome way to spend some time.
    This is a compound word, made up of two greek words. The first is εἰρήνη – (G1515) eirēnē.
    The Lexicon Results for this word are:
    1) a state of national tranquillity
    a) exemption from the rage and havoc of war
    2) peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord
    3) security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)
    4) of the Messiah’s peace
    a) the way that leads to peace (salvation)
    5) of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is
    6) the blessed state of devout and upright men after death

    Points #1 of above seems to describe the shallow understanding or incomplete understanding of this word I had prior to today’s blog. Points #2 & #3 begin to describe the difference between of my initial understanding – the absence of something (war or strife); and a fuller meaning – the presence of something (harmony). Two people(s) can be at worldly peace (tolerate each other) yet not have the ‘Peace of God’. Points #4 & #5 really drive it home. Point #6 will take some meditation on my part.

    Some other interesting facts about this word; Strong’s Number G1515 matches the Greek εἰρήνη (eirēnē), which occurs 93 times in 85 verses in the Greek concordance of the NASB. Jesus used this word and many times in bestowing the peace of God on the person he had healed or merely stating “Peace be with you” to those He was addressing. With a fuller meaning of this word, reading the passages using this word is worth one’s time.

    I found this quote from Matthew Henry interesting; “They shall be called the children of God; it will be an evidence to themselves that they are so; God will own them as such, and herein they will resemble him. He is the God of peace; the Son of God is the Prince of peace; the Spirit of adoption is a Spirit of peace.”

    Somewhat off topic but this also caught my attention, a quote by David Guzik. “The character traits described in the Beatitudes are not valued by our modern culture. We don’t recognize or give awards to the “Most Pure in Heart” or “Most Poor in Spirit.” Though our culture doesn’t think much of these character traits, they do described the character of the citizens of God’s kingdom.”

    Every commentary I read and listened to describe this peacemaker as not one merely working to get out of strife but working to bring about an unshakeable state of peace through reconciled fellowship with God, not only within himself but all those around him or her. I will have to rethink my peacemaker mentality to include compassion for my enemy’s souls and not just stopping peacemaking when the strife ends.

    Thanks again for the interesting insight and more so for the invitation to delve into the word of God!

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