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 can be a dangerous job. My husband wound up in the emergency room once after he got in between two spouses who were having an argument. The man tried to kick his wife and got the pastor instead.
That's not the only thing that can happen to people who try to make peace. Sometimes the whole group decides to turn on you instead. You are trying to help them, but they see it as interference in their affairs, and suddenly, they are unified against you!
Other times the costs are real but less dramatic. You may end up wasting time and energy because one side doesn't actually want peace, or is unwilling to do what's necessary to make it happen. And if you love the people who are at war, you will probably go through a lot of sadness, grief, and frustration. You can see the needs—why can't they? Why are they being so stubborn?
Is it worth it, to try to make peace? Jesus clearly thought so. Because of course, He is the Son of God that all of us lesser peacemakers imitate. He made peace between us—sinful, rebellious human beings—and the holy God who made us and is calling us back to Himself.
And of course, like all peacemakers, Jesus paid a high price for that peace. He began by choosing to leave His glory in heaven and becoming a human being among us. He dealt with our opposition to God every day of His ministry. And in the end He lay down His life on the cross to take away all of our sins and to remake our stubborn, rebellious hearts. I can't imagine a higher price!
But Jesus succeeded. Now everyone who trusts in Him has everlasting peace with God—not because of anything we have done, but completely because of Jesus. And now that Jesus has risen from the dead, He will never die again; He is our Peace forever. We can go to God with confidence, knowing that all of our sins are forgiven and our guilt is gone. In Jesus, we are not rebels anymore; we are children of God Himself. And this remains true even when we can't feel that peace for the moment and our sins keep coming back to mind. Jesus is our guarantee of peace with God, and He will never leave us.
Now that we are God's beloved children, we become peacemakers like Jesus—not in our own wisdom and power, but relying on the Holy Spirit's help. We ask Him to show us what to do and say. And He will help us whenever we must pay the price of peacemaking as well.
WE PRAY: Dear Father, thank You for sending Jesus to make peace between us and You. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. When have you tried to make peace between two people or two groups?
2. How did it go?
3. Why do you think peacemaking so often has high costs for the one who does it?
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