Saturday, October 08, 2016

Fresh Studies in Matthew: Matthew 5:9

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”
Do we really believe this?  That bringing or creating peace from conflict is blessed enough for Jesus to put it here.  What does this mean, especially when he said he did not bring peace but a sword, himself?
We don’t get the privilege to bring a sword.  The very fact that our belief and attitude toward him makes all the difference in the world and in our lives means he will be divisive.  He brings the sword because people will differ over him, not because he is carrying one himself.  And in the end he brings a sword to make peace.  We want a sweet Jesus who loves children and gives wise sayings.  No such Jesus.
Jesus did bring a sword.  Not everyone is thrilled by Christian conversions.  It brings conflict in families, and Christ must come first.  Yet he is the prince of Peace.  These are the paradoxes.  Suffice it to say that making peace is something God wants for us.  We are not Christ and thus are not worthy to be the cause of existential division.  Only he is. We can be messengers of peace. 
How do we bring peace?  By compromise?  Sometimes, yes.  By reconciling people to God?  Yes that would too.  But not fueling conflicts?  Yes.  By looking fore creative solutions to conflicts?  Yes.  By making our own sacrifices?  Yes.

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