In so many places our world is torn apart by conflict and war. In England we are sharply divided by the Brexit issue, with politicians openly haranguing each other and interminably fulminating over personal and party issues. In so many ways peace has fled from the planet! “Blessed,” said Yahshua, “are the peacemakers…” [Matthew 5:9]. Who are these people, and where can we find them?
The word ‘blessed’ is translated ‘happy’ [J.B. Phillips], and clarified as ‘enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in [Yahweh’s] favour and salvation’ [Classic Amplified Bible]. So, it would seem fair to say that the true peacemaker is not only a believer in Yahshua, but also a genuinely happy individual. This is not describing a peace-lover, or a peace-keeper, or even a pacifist, but a person who negotiates conciliation! Such negotiations often come with a price-tag. Yahshua, the greatest of all Peacemakers, “…made peace through the blood of His cross.” [Colossians 1:20]! He knew what it would cost to negotiate reconciliation for humanity and would have been aware that genuine peace-making is a sacrificial activity, not a passive virtue.
J. Oswald Sanders, a former Principal of the New Zealand Bible College, describes peace-making as “…a ministry that calls for heavenly wisdom, uncommon tact, insight and courage.” I was moved by the fact that Sanders not only sees conciliation as a ministry but has a clear perception of its cost. It is a fact that peacemakers achieve peace through allowing their own peace to be broken; their gift is themselves. I believe this ministry is not just for a chosen few, but one in which the whole Body of Yahshua should be involved.
“A peacemaker,” writes Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “is one who is not looking at everything in terms of the effect it has upon himself.” He sees the ministry of peace-making as incumbent upon us all, going on to encourage us that “we should be endeavouring to diffuse peace wherever we are. We do this by being selfless, by being lovable, by being approachable and by not standing on our dignity.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of [the Elohim of Peace],” said the Prince of Peace.
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