What a shock those words must have been to those who heard the Lord that day. In Jesus of Nazareth, they were beginning to see the potential of a great leader. During the next three years, His fame and renown would increase. They wanted a king, a Messiah who would throw off the yoke of Roman oppression and gloriously lead them in restoring the kingdom of David and Solomon. In John 6.15, the crowd was of a mind to take Him by force and make Him king. In Matthew 21.1-11, as He entered Jerusalem, the whole city greeted Him as a king.
Certainly, Jesus was their king, their Messiah, but He came as a Savior and not as a soldier. He came in peace to establish peace between God and man. Therefore, those who are in His kingdom will likewise be peacemakers.
Peace (eirānā) means “serenity, calmness, quietness, freedom from strife, harmony” – qualities which God desires to characterize His kingdom and His people. Peacemakers are “those who cause people to be friends; who work to make peace between people or who work to stop people from being enemies.”
Paul declared, “God is not a God of confusion, but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14.33). Proverbs 6.6-19 condemns, among other things, the one “that soweth discord among brethren.” The Christians in Rome were told, “If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men” (Romans 12.18). And the Ephesian brethren were instructed to endeavor “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4.3).
Peacemakers “shall be called sons of God.” In order to obtain that wonderful blessing, we must be people in whom bitterness and strife cannot dwell and whom others can trust to be fair. We must serve to bridge the gap between enemies. We must help to heal wounds and restore concern for each other. And we must be honest in seeking and removing the cause or reason for problems and be patient and merciful to those involved.
Jesus calls us to heroic duty, to go where few dare to go – to the midst of the battle with a message of peace and reconciliation.
“Happy are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”