Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God – a sermon on Matthew 5:9 by Rev. Colin Pretorius.
About 2600 years ago, the prophet Jeremiah wrote:
They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.
Not much has changed since that time. Peace is an elusive commodity – you only need to look at what has happened across the world in our own lifetime. At the moment there’s a war in Ukraine, but that’s just one of many such conflicts. If you think of the area in which such a large part of the Bible is set – the Middle East – that has hardly been a peaceful area, despite a number of politicians having received the Nobel Peace prize for peace in the Middle East! Those peacemakers haven’t really achieved much – peace, peace they cried out but there is no peace.
Perhaps you’re wondering what this has to do with today’s text. Brothers and sisters, the Lord Jesus says
“Blessed are the peacemakers.” He’s not calling on us to go to the Middle East or Ukraine or the countries in Africa where there’s war and to try to broker peace between warring parties. Yes, some may be called to do that, but the call of Jesus is broader than that. He calls you and me to be peacemakers. Let’s look this morning then at these three aspects of being peacemakers:
- What does it mean to be a peacemaker?
- What are the characteristics of a peacemaker? and
- Is there any reward in being a peacemaker?
Let’s look first at what it means to be a peacemaker.