Peacemaking

David Bast

Read: Ephesians 2:11-22

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matt. 5:9 NRSV)

When he uttered this famous beatitude, Jesus certainly touched upon a glaring need. Whether it is an attempt at negotiations in the Middle East or an effort to mediate the warring parties in South Sudan or even just a wise and mature adult to referee between two squabbling children, our world has a pressing need for peacemakers.

Why is life so filled with conflict? The problem is that there’s something wrong with us, inside in our very nature. The Bible calls it sin. Before we can have peace with each other, we need to be reconciled with God, a work only God can do. The good news of the gospel is that he has done it in the person of Jesus Christ. “Through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross” (Col. 1:20 NRSV).

Peace with God is just the beginning. What Jesus is talking about in this beatitude has more to do with person-to-person peace. He’s concerned with the need for healing in human society and relationships. He wants his followers to become a fellowship of peacemakers, bringing people back together, as he has done by creating “in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace” (Eph. 2:15 NRSV).

Jesus is a peacemaker. He calls us to be the same. It’s how you know you are a child of God. —David Bast

Prayer: Lord, help me be an agent of peace.