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Blessed Are the Peacemakers

The promise of sonship
This sermon is part of the sermon series "Beatitudes". See series.

Introduction

The troops the United Nations deployed to the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan look like they could be soldiers from just about any nation. In a sense, they are. Multinational in nature, armed with the latest weapons, and marked by distinctive blue helmets, their purpose is "to help countries torn by conflict create conditions for sustainable peace." They are not called "soldiers" but "peacekeepers." Were they what Jesus had in mind when he uttered this beatitude: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God"? Who can hope to be a peacemaker in a war-torn world like this?

Peace is a goal.

Peace doesn't just happen; we make peace. In that sense it is a goal—something we desire, something we strive for. In this beatitude Jesus doesn't bless those who have a peaceful disposition, as good as that might be. He doesn't say, "Blessed are those who are peaceful." The focus is not on the personality but on the action of the person Jesus describes. Those who are blessed are those who "make" peace.

When the United States first entered World War I, the president of Columbia University in New York City sent a questionnaire to the entire faculty asking them what they proposed to do to help with the war effort. One member of the faculty, a pacifist, sent it back with this answer: "Mind my own business." That may be what a pacifist does. But it is not what a peacemaker does. A peacemaker knows that dealing with the conflict is his business. Peacemaking is not a passive characteristic. The language Jesus uses is active; a peacemaker is one who attacks the situation, who confronts it head on.

First Peter 3:10-11 quotes the Psalmist and says that whoever would love life and see good days must "seek peace and ...

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John Koessler is professor and chair of the Pastoral Studies Department at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois.

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Sermon Outline:

Introduction

I. Peace is a goal.

II. Peace is also a gift.

III. Peace is a work of God.

Conclusion