Monday, March 26, 2012

Peacemakers & Persecution

My Journey Through the Sermon on the Mount

{Matthew 5:9-12}
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

Do you wonder why verse 9 says blessed are the peacemakers and the next 3 verses have to do with persecution?

Could it be that when you're a peacemaker, you aren't seeking peace the way we understand it to be? Perhaps peace doesn't come from silence and people pleasing, but from speaking up and speaking truth?

I have been thinking about this for nearly 2 weeks. Why would God call peacemakers blessed and then give 3 verses following about persecution?

Perhaps it's because as Tim Keller has said, as an ambassador for Christ you should be "both attracting people and repelling people". There were times when Jesus was mocked, ridiculed, harassed. He warned His disciples that they will be hated by the world, just as He was.

But there were also times when it says He grew in favor with men. Same with the New Testament church, they grew in favor, the LORD was adding to their number daily.

So this peacemaker can't mean someone who just gets along with everyone, stays silent, and is a people pleaser. If the peace talked about here is peace between one another, than why would He give warning not to lose heart as we are reviled and persecuted by others? If we're making peace why would we be persecuted?

This peacemaker must be preaching a message of PEACE that is beyond this world.

True peace comes from reconciliation to the Father. Peace in our broken relationship, our sin, our hostility toward God. That is the GOSPEL. It's a GOSPEL of peace between us and God.

Real peacemakers tell others this message of peace.

Some will hear this message of peace and jump with joy, knowing they can have a peace beyond understanding. This peace comes from a right standing with God, righteousness. Others will hear it and think it's ridiculous, judgmental, naive. . . and they will persecute.

But ah . . . remember . . . blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake.

So we are to be peacemakers. To be a peacemaker means we must be willing to ruffle some feathers, say hard things, and be bold for Christ. It's a deeper peace beyond "staying civil" and "not wanting to offend anyone." It's a peace that points others to Christ, that stands for Him even in the face of persecution, because the love is stronger. It's a peace that comes from reconciliation.

Are you willing to be a peacemaker? Even if it's rejecting the peace that comes from "people pleasing"?

So, perhaps this isn't the symbol for peace:

But this is:

"What are you after? Approval of the people OR favor from the King?" -Tim Keller


  1. I love this, Melissa. Very insightful. Thank you for sharing. Would you mind if I shared the link on my FB page?

  2. Jeanine, I am honored that you read my blog! Sure, share away! Find me on facebook, we can officially be "friends" :-)

    1. Thank you! I enjoy reading your blog so much. It often inspires and encourages me. You have a beautiful way of expressing the heart of God. Keep it up! God bless you!