Great are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God -Matthew 5:9So we have made it to the 7th beatitude all about the peacemakers! So what is it really that makes a peacemaker who they are, despite the obvious. Well a peacemaker would be bold, brave and they would confront aggression and aggressors to find a better way of resolving conflict. It is already a tall order for someone but it starts to sound near impossible to think someone could make full peace when during the past 6,000 years of civilization we've only had 292 years of global peace. The odd thing is we see so much war on the news and war is expensive, destructive and devastating one wonders why it continues to prosper. Well Jesus offers us a new way of life, not one of peace but one of the peacemaker.
As with all the beatitudes though Jesus shows us an example of this in Holy Week, leading up to His death Jesus rebuked Peter for using the sword, didn't resist being arrested and in Isaiah it is written that the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him. So the question really is, are we being the peacemaker in our lives?
So the persecuted! We constantly pray for the persecuted church, in the hope that the light of God will not be put out but we never pray that people might meet persecution. In many ways we all want to live a life were we are liked by everyone but we are not, and were never, promised that we would be liked by everyone. In fact when Jesus sent His twelve disciples out He warned them that there would be places where we aren't accepted. We are called to be counter cultural sometimes and our reactions to persecution are definitely one. What is interesting is that this beatitude comes straight after the beatitude about peacemakers, it certainly brings to point that we shouldn't be seeking persecution but rather we are likely to receive persecution in seeking peace.10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. -Matthew 5:10-12
The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to the persecuted so really when we get abused for seeking and sharing the kingdom of God part of us should rejoice because the reward is great. So are we being asked to stand up for anything by God? Are we being called to be brave and courageous in our lives?
P.S: I'm sorry for being two days late with this, I'm attempting to catch up.