From: Su Min
My dearly beloved,
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask- we know we have what we asked of him (1 John 5:13-15).
Jesus went about Galilee teaching in the synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom. "Repent for the kingdom is near." He healed every disease and sickness among the people. Large crowds followed him. When he saw the large crowds he went up upon a mountain and sat down. His disciples came to him. He opened his mouth and began to teach. Crowds still follow him. His disciples still follow him. Even today Jesus opens his mouth and teaches. Will you hear him?
Jesus says "Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God" (Matt 5:9).
To understand this beatitude and to hear what Jesus says to us in this teaching let us examine the following:
- What is a peacemaker
- What is not a peacemaker
- How to be peacemaker
- Who calls the peacemakers "Children of God"
- What it means to be called Children of God
- What is a peacemaker?
The compound Greek word used is listed in Strong's Concordance #1518 eirenopoios (i-ray-nop-oy-eh-o),There is no corresponding Hebrew word for peacemaker, but certainly there is a Hebrew word for peace.
from #1515 eirene: to join peace, oneness, quietness, rest, set at one again.
& #4160 poieo, to make or do.
Thus #1518 eirenopoios, pacificatory, peacemaker.
The Hebrew word listed in Strong's Concordance #7965, shalom (shaw-lome) health, prosperity, peace.
Shalom is a special word for us. It is still used as a greeting in Israel, and amongst the Jews, and amongst Christians. Shalom!
In Isaiah 9:6 Jesus is identified as Prince of Shalom, Prince of Peace.
When Jesus was born, a great multitude of heavenly hosts appeared with the angel saying "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, eirene, to men on whom his favour rests (Luke 2:13-14)."
Jesus brings us peace, eirene, shalom. Peace, eirene, I leave with you; my peace I give you (John 14:27) The peace, the eirene of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil 4: 7).A peacemaker, by common understanding, is one who foments peace, primarily between warring parties. As we think of the present day war in Bosnia, Chetnya, Ireland, Ruanda, turmoils in middle East, Israel not the least: certainly those brave men and women who forge peace in these and similar situations are peacemakers and are blessed.
On a smaller scale, closer to home, those of us who have the inclination and the social skills to mediate between petty quarrels and strife in office and at home also bear the mantle as peace maker.
What about within ourselves? Are we full of internal strife? Do we have clashes brought about by desires incongruent with our spiritual heritage? Hunger and thirst after power, position, authority, respect, money? Do we lie awake at night plotting revenge? Do we toss and turn with burning anger because some one has wronged us? This is a state of internal war. Seek peace, make peace with yourself and be blessed.
- What is not a peacemaker?
The opposite of a peace maker is a war monger.But if we look a little closer, perhaps the writing on the wall finds us numbered, weighed and divided! (Dan 5:26-28). Within the office and the home, are we not sometimes responsible for provoking conflict? A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1). Do we not often let that harsh word slip from our lips, all too fast before we could hold it back? Zapp. And the damage is done. The injury inflicted. And the angry response generated.
If peacemakers are blessed, then certainly warmongers must be cursed.
We can look at war-mongering at three levels:
Certainly the international villains, the IRA type, the hawks on any side of the nuclear arms build-up, the petty dictators, the hatemongers full of antiracial rhetoric, fall into this category. None of us would think we fall under this umbrella.
And within ourselves. Why do we continue to generate war, not peace. Why the internal conflict. Why the restlessness? Do we not pursue temporal treasures and temporal pressures that are worldly, world like and not congruent with the wishes of God? Too often I do. I need to repent. I need to confess. And when I confess I am forgiven. I am reconciled to God. I come back under the shadow of the rock. I nest under the wing of the eagle.
- How to be peacemaker?
Firstly we have to work from within. We have to cleanse ourselves. We have to be purified. We have to submit to the furnace and let the impurities burn away. If we have not fed on the living bread, if we have not nourished ourselves with the Word of God, when the fire burns there will be nothing left!But if we have been humble, contrite, obedient and faithful, then the furnace will leave pure gold, gold to do God's will. We pray for the spirit of wisdom and discernment, that we may go forth and be peacemakers.
- Who calls the peacemakers "Children of God"?
If we are dressed in God's garments, if we go about doing God's work, surely the men of the world will recognise God's mark on our lives and call us "God's children". But what of that ? No big deal.But if the King of Kings and Lord of Lords calls us "Children of God" what a blessing, for He is the one that will accord us all the privileges that that title brings with it.
- What it means to be called Children of God? Read 1 John 3:1-24. Being Children of God demands that we love one another, not with words, but with action and in truth. Rom 8:16 confirms that the Holy Spirit testifies that we are children of God. Rom 8:17 reminds us as heirs of God we are heirs to the suffering and heirs to the glory.
The suffering is real. It is painful. It requires great spiritual strength to endure. Yet the cup of suffering that some of us will have to take is but temporary.
The glory is exquisite. The glory is eternal. The glory is God's glory. And we as heirs have a right to inherit that glory. Praise be to God.
Let us pray.
Abba Father, thank you for accepting us back as children of God.
We know that we do not deserve such a privilege on our own right.
No matter how much we try on our own strength we can not achieve salvation by ourselves.
And very often, Father, you know that we do not even try to achieve salvation.
Indeed our hearts are hardened. We are self centred. We are proud. We seek vengeance. We are filled with hatred. Our feet are set on the path to destruction.
But Jesus speaks gently to us, "Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God".
Father, teach us to be peacemakers. At home and in office. To all those around us. May we be gentle and compassionate and kind. May they find us to be peacemakers. Bless us Father. Accept us as your children.
In the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
For any comments or enquiries please write to Dr. Lim Su Min
Back to Antioch's Well
Back to Antioch's Home Page