Beatitudes · Conflict · Peace · Peacemaking

Peacemaking: Maybe Not What You Think

I’ve stood on “The mount of Beatitudes” in Northern Israel where Jesus spoke amazing words found in Matthew 5, where He gave His famous Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 5:9 He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.”

This verse and teaching of Jesus greatly impacted my life and ministry over the last decade or so. It helped me push hard to reconcile with other believers I had disagreements with. It guided me in helping save marriages that God has ordained. It has been a tool in helping me bring friends back together again as well. 

Like everything these days, this verse has been distorted. It has been weaponized. It has been a tool of Christians who are foolish, spineless, or some combination of both. 

What kind of peacemaking did Jesus call us to? The goal of our Savior was not for “everyone to just get along.” It wasn’t “unity at all cost” as some have promoted. 

The peace Jesus promoted was the peace of God – the peace that only can come between God and man through the cross of Christ. This peace doesn’t unite darkness and light (see II Corinthians 6:14), but the peace that calls darkness to become light so light can have fellowship with itself.

Unfortunately, Christians of the 20th Century often have split with other Christians, divided over secondary, and even tertiary issues beyond the Gospel. They refused to work with someone unless their list of hundreds of doctrinal and practical theological stands were perfect. There were times when this was foolish. 

We are called to work towards unity in Christ and the Gospel (see I Corinthians 1:10, Philippians 2:2). None of us have everything perfect, and not one of us is perfected in our spiritual lives, nor will we be until we perfectly see Christ one day.

On the other side, there are false gospels (see Galatians 1:8). There are false teachers (see I Timothy 6:3-5). There are those who are in darkness and not light. We are not called to “get along” or “work with” everyone.” We are not called to make peace where there clearly is division. We are called to make a specific peace – the peace that only Christ can bring. 

If we believe that Jesus calls us to unite and appease everyone, the very next verses in Matthew 5:10-11 wouldn’t make sense. It’s about those who follow Christ and are persecuted for His sake. If we appeased everyone and agreed with everyone, why would anyone be upset with us and persecute us?

Anything outside of this is not the peace of Christ. It is not the peace of the beatitudes. It is not the peace that Jesus promoted. Let’s not swing the pendulum and act like there are no lines in the sand to draw as believers.

What kind of peace are you making? What kind of peace did God promote? What is the true peace that believers are called to chase after?

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