Matthew 5:1-2, 9 - Seeing the crowds, He (Jesus) went up on the mountain, and when He sat down, His disciples came to Him. And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying ... "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."
Being a peacemaker isn't easy. You are likely to get shot at by both sides. This is one reason why I would worry whenever my husband the pastor would go out on a family conflict call, especially if it was a family where we knew there had been violence before. Usually he could talk them into calming down, but not always. On one memorable occasion he ended up with a limp that lasted for weeks.
Even if physical violence isn't a concern, you are still likely to pay a price if you try to make peace between warring parties. You will spend a huge amount of time listening to everyone complain about the others. You can expect headaches and troubled sleep and even an upset stomach or two. You may have to deal with jealousy, as one side or the other starts to worry that you are playing favorites and not really trying to bring peace to everybody. Both sides may try to corrupt you. And neither side is ever going to be really happy with you at any time—not unless you actually succeed in making a real, lasting peace.
And your reward? According to Jesus, it is to be called a "son of God." That's a rather startling phrase, but it fits, doesn't it? Because it means that you bear a family resemblance to Jesus. He, too, came to bring peace to a conflicted relationship. He came to reconcile humanity to God. He came to do whatever it took in order to bring us back to God—no longer as enemies but as God's dearly loved children. That peace was His goal.
And He paid the price for that peace. Oh, how He paid it! He paid it by coming down from heaven to be born as a human baby in a poor family in a conquered nation. He paid it every day He walked this earth, loving the people around Him, serving and healing and teaching and caring for them, knowing all the while that His time was short. Soon would come the cross. Soon would come the final struggle, the conflict with the powers of evil that would end with His own death—and with His resurrection victory.
Jesus knows the price of being a peacemaker. He carries the scars of this work in His hands and His feet. But He does this joyfully, because those are the signs that He has won. He has brought peace. He has reconciled us to God. Now we are blessed, and so is He. Truly, how much He loves us.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for being our Peacemaker. Use me to bring peace also. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Have you ever tried to bring peace? What happened?
2. What is one conflict that you are concerned about right now?
3. Write or speak a prayer for the people involved in that conflict, asking the Lord to intervene—and to use you, if He sees fit.
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"