Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.
He said: …
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
- Matthew 5:1-2, 9
Oh, how many sermons have I heard about the fact that this Beatitude says peacemaker instead of peace lover. I think many of them were during the hippie movement, to put down the protests about the war, and encourage those in charge to do something about the war, to end it. Nixon was president when the US pulled out of Vietnam, just days before I graduated college with a military commitment. I will forever be grateful to Nixon and Kissinger, but that peace came at a cost and it was not a lasting peace. And one of Nixon’s other crowning glories was to open the gates to the isolated P. R. China. With COVID-19, SARS, and far too many influenza mutations that have originated in China, maybe he should have kept that gate closed. Just a thought…
But the peace that Jesus was referring to is that lasting peace that only God can provide. In accepting Jesus as our Savior, in that time of being poor in spirit and coming to Jesus in our brokenness, we have God within us. We become merciful to those around us; we hunger for righteousness; we are humbled before God. The peace that passes all understanding is made in our soul as we become sanctified.
Is there any impediments to this peace? Yes, our sinful nature will fight it. The Apostle Paul writes of this in Romans 7, just to follow in Romans 8 praising God for His bountiful Grace. C. S. Lewis, and others, have tried to claim the title of Most Reluctant Converts to Christianity. Peace doesn’t come, at least that pure everlasting peace, in one swell foop. (Sorry, that should be fell swoop, but I love spoonerisms, and that one is one that I heard often when growing up.) We will struggle. As R. C. Sproul said, we will not be fully sanctified until we pass to the other side. Then, that lasting peace can be fully realized.
With the inspiration to write a little “Thought on” style message for the “poor in spirit,” I thought that I would continue through the Beatitudes.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.