Jesus Did Not Say That We Must Be Peace Keepers


There is a huge difference between being peacemakers and peace keepers. What did Jesus say?

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matt. 5: 9-12)

This chiasm has been arranged a little differently. The central thought has been put first.

 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.

Once again, to understand this chiasm, we must go back to its use in Scripture. There are only two places in the New Testament where the term, “making peace” is used, apart from here.

For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and though Him to reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood shed on the cross. (Col. 1: 19-20).

Through His shed blood, Jesus reconciled to God everything in the universe that was alienated from God through Adam’s disobedience.

Therefore remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth . . . were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in His flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility.  (Eph. 2: 11-16)

Wow! Can you see how deep the roots of peace-making go? There can never be peace between God and man and between man and man outside of the sacrifice Jesus made to reconcile us to the Father by doing away with the reason for the hostility. Sin alienated us from God, an impenetrable barrier that we could not nothing about.

There was only one solution – a perfect sacrifice made by a perfect son. God demands death as the penalty for sin, but every sinner must pay for his own sin. Only a sinless human could pay the debt for all sin, and Jesus was that sinless human.

Reconciliation, then, is not about bringing warring parties together. Reconciliation is about dealing with the cause of the war. God did that through His Son, so that there is no more reason for people to be alienated from God or from one another. The roots of the hatred between the races lie in the problem of alienation between God and man because of sin. Racial hatred will never be removed apart from the cross. It cost Jesus His own blood to do away with the hostility and make peace between God and man and between man and man.

Where does persecution fit into the picture? Human beings are not neutral in their attitude towards God. Because of our natural bent towards rebellion, we are at enmity with God. There is deep-rooted hatred of God and anything that has to do with Him. Why was Jesus crucified? Because of man’s hatred for God!

Those who represented self-help religion in Jesus’ day, the leaders of His people, the religious leaders, rejected Him because He showed them what God the Father is really like, and they hated Him for it. How accurately He diagnosed the problem:

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. (John 3: 19)

The way people view sin divides the whole world into two camps – those who hate their sin and those who hate God because of their sin. Those who hate their sin readily respond the Jesus and embrace His solution. Those who love their sin are against God and those who are with Him. The outcome is persecution. The sinner can’t do anything to God so he attacks God’s people.

Jesus did not say that persecution is enjoyable. He did say that persecution is a reason to rejoice because it is a sign that we are in good company; those who hate God persecuted the prophets and killed Jesus. We must not be surprised that we come in for persecution as well.

So, what’s the bottom line?

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you, on God’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Cor. 5: 17-20)

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!

ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3,                                                                              eBook 978-4828-0511-6

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