I can’t make peace if I don’t have peace myself. That is the first task, find peace in Jesus. Then, I can make peace by proclaiming His word and carrying on with His deeds.
Peacemaking is a big goal given to us from Jesus. Jesus says “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9) Peace means reconciliation, and God is the author of peace and of reconciliation.
Indeed, the very same verb which is used in this happiness prescription is applied by the apostle Paul to what God has done through the Messiah.
Through the Messiah God was pleased ‘to reconcile to himself all things, … making peace by the blood of his cross’. And the Messiah’s purpose was to ‘create in himself one new man in place of the two (i.e. Jew and Gentile), so making peace’. (Colossians 1:19-21)
It is hardly surprising that the benefit which attaches to peacemakers is that ‘they shall be called sons of God’. For they are seeking to do what their Father has done, loving people with his love, as Jesus is soon to make explicit. It is the devil who is a troublemaker; it is God who loves reconciliation and who now through his children, as formerly through his only begotten Son, is bent on making peace.
- The importance of pursuing peace: I can’t make peace if I don’t have peace myself. That is the first task, find peace in Jesus. Then, I can make peace by proclaiming His word and carrying on with His deeds.
- Ecclesiastes 10:4 — If the ruler’s temper rises against you, do not abandon your position, because composure allays great offenses.
- Romans 12:18 — If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
- Titus 1:6 — namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.
- Hebrews 12:14 — Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Master.
- James 3:17 — But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
Jesus prayed for the oneness of his people. He also prayed that they might be kept from evil and in truth. We have no mandate from the Messiah to seek unity without purity, purity of both belief and conduct. If there is such a thing as ‘cheap reunion’, there is ‘cheap evangelism’ also, namely the proclamation of the good news without the cost of discipleship, the demand for faith without repentance. These are forbidden short cuts. They turn the messenger of good news into a fraud. They cheapen the good news of Jesus and damage the cause of the Messiah.