B@E2d: the seventh one
promoting peace is probably not an unfamiliar concept (especially to any California residents that may read this blog). people all over are sick of war and dispute and all that junk, and will persist, petition, pontificate and protest to that end. this cause is not ill- conceived, though, as peace between nations can be a profitable and preserving prospect for all concerned.
i’m not quite sure, though, that this is the peacekeeping that Jesus is referring to in this verse. sure, rallying against war and the like can be a beneficial cause, but this ‘tude goes a little further. the main ‘peace’ Jesus is talking about here is peace with the people we encounter; our friends, acquaintances, and even enemies. raise a picket sign and rally all you want, but if you have an unresolved dispute with an acquaintance, that is not pleasing to God. our relationships are perhaps the most important gifts we have on Earth, and it does not benefit anybody to allow a disagreement, dispute, or just straight up animosity to continue to reside and fester. we are called to be peacemakers, those who constantly and diligently safeguard peace in their relationships.
on the other hand, we must remember that this definition of “peacemaker” does not extend to “hero” or “mindchanger.” as we see in Romans 12, we are to promote peace as it depends on us. we can not force others to concede to the idea of peace, but rather must keep to our part as peacemakers to love and understand as much as possible. by making a point to keep peace in our relationships, we are to be patient with others by definition. you cannot hope to have a peaceful relationship with another and be impatient with them at the same time, the two are incompatible.
it is a powerful statement to be called a “son of God.” to be counted as one of God’s children is to be recognized as one who follows Him. this goes to say that when we make peace with others, we look like God in a way. peacemaking is one of the things God does best (of course, He does everything better than everyone else, except mess up). God made peace to mankind by offering His Son to reconcile us to Him and He makes peace to us everyday by doing His end (welcoming us, forgiving us, offering New Life) and still giving us the freedom to reject Him. you can see the importance of freewill by recognizing God’s willingness to let us say “no” to Him, yet giving us everything we need in order to say “yes.”