“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
— Jesus, Matthew 5:9, NIV, accessed from BibleGateway.com
It seems that many Christians have trouble with the idea of Jesus as a peacemaker and even more trouble with the idea of themselves as peacemakers. After all what can one person in this world do to stop the violence and pave the way for peace?
The answer to this is simple. We stop being violent. We become peace. We live, breathe and act out of peace. One person. One kind loving act. That is how it is done. Is it easy? Of course not. But is it possible? Yes, but we cannot look at the whole big picture of violence in the world because it will be overwhelming.
No one can wave a magic wand and make all war and violence stop. But we can calm the violence and anger within ourselves. Next, we bring our families, churches, and communities together in peace. That’s how peace spreads. One person at a time.
“Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
— Jesus, The Bible, Matthew 5:6, NIV, Accessed by Bible Gateway.com
Some precious souls can do many good deeds; they feed the hungry, help heal the sick and wounded, comfort the abused, visit the imprisoned and do many other good and honorable things. Yet these same people are often, themselves, rejected, misunderstood, seen as prey either socially, financially or politically and often do they cry out in their anguish for fair treatment.
How can we be an instrument of God to help the person seeking fair treatment find peace in God?
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
– – Jesus, Matthew 5:5 The Bible, NIV, Accessed via BibleGateway.org
Meekness in our world is often seen as weakness. But if we look at meekness as power under control we see a different picture. While power, position and prestige may be what is valued in the world today, and at the time this teaching was given, Jesus was living and teaching a way of life that would show the world God.
What does living a live of meekness or power under control look like in today’s world?
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
— Jesus, Matthew 5:4 NIV, accessed through BibleGateway.com
People who suffer from various forms of discrimination and unjustness at the hands of nonbelievers do mourn for the indignation of such treatment and for those who perform it because while not knowing it, such people, in reality, do not know God. They mourn for not only the injustice they feel by the perpetuation of the injustice dealt toward them but also for the loss of peace for planet earth by the expression of such hatred from nonbelievers and those who do not know how to express their faith.
How do modern world citizens mourn for the lost possibilities
of a manifestation of Heaven on Earth?
How does the Holy Spirof God comfort us through this?
“Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.” — The Bible Matthew Chapter 5:1-2, New International Version, accessed via Bible Gateway.com.
Beginning today we will be considering that great teaching session of Jesus usually referred to as the “Sermon on the Mount.” This sermon takes up three chapters of the book of Matthew (5, 6 and 7) and includes lots of good stuff. This is where Jesus talks about being salt and light in the world, murder, oaths, “an eye for an eye,” giving to the needy, prayer, laying up treasures in heaven, judging others, ask, seek, knock, true and false prophets and disciples and much, much, more.
But this lengthy teaching begins with what we call The Beatitudes, that series of statements beginning with the words “blessed are.” We will be going through these verse by verse, one per day.
Dig a Little Deeper: As we read about these think about the people Jesus calls blessed — is it shocking? How does it go against conventional wisdom or popular culture?