Matthew – Day 25 – Peacemakers?
lease begin by reading the Shema out loud and continue trying to memorize it.
“Hear, O Israel. The LORD is our God. The LORD alone. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Amen.”
Continue trying to memorize “The Beatitudes” (Matthew 5:1-12). Today we add verse 9.
The seventh beatitude from the Sermon on the Mount is found in Matthew 5:9. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”
“Peace” is the translation of the Greek word eir. Eir means rest, blessing, well-being, and peace. The Western way of viewing this scripture might be that I should wave a banner saying “peace on earth and goodwill to all men” and try to resolve all differences among the nations of this world. Is this what this scripture means?
Read Matthew 10:34 (out loud).
Jesus has to explain this even to His disciples. He did not come to bring “peace on earth”. So if He didn’t come to bring “peace on earth”, what is He talking about? As is common with the teachings of Jesus, He is stressing the spiritual, not the physical; the permanent instead of the temporary.
The first level of peace is between man and God. Many people in the Jewish and Gentile world were at war with God – fighting His ways and His plans. Trying to do things their way instead of His. The peacemaker points people to God. He helps them see God’s plan so that they will no longer fight against Him, but become a true follower. Peter did this in the second chapter of Acts. He explained God’s plan to the people listening, and many repented and were baptized. They were brought back into peace with their relationship with God.
The second level of peace is within us, individually. Read John 14:27 and 16:33 (out loud). Jesus does not want His followers to be anxious, worrisome, or frantic. He wants us to trust in Him and in the Father – not in ourselves. Even when we have trouble in this world – notice, I did not say if – I said when. Jesus said, “In this world, you will have trouble.” Our peace comes in the rest of that scripture, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Remember, no one said Christianity was the easy road.
The third level of peace is aiming to be at peace with all people. Read Romans 12:14-18 (out loud). Tomorrow we will find out that living the way God wants us to will automatically put us in conflict with the world, BUT we are to do all that we can to have peace with others. If others choose to be hostile toward us, we should not have done anything to bring that anger on. Read 1 Peter 2:12 (out loud).
Jesus came to bring peace. It just wasn’t the peace that the people were expecting – or even wanted at the time. They wanted political peace, earthly peace, but there was a bigger kind of peace that was needed. Jesus restored our relationship with God by making peace between God and us. Now we must quit fighting against Him. We must quit fighting inside of ourselves, and we must quit fighting each other. We are to be like God’s son – always pointing others to the peace that Christ gives — then we will be called sons of God. Are you living at peace? Are you telling others about that Peace?
Stephen Willis’ Discipleship Materials