Blessed Are the Makers of Reconciliation: Peacemaking and the Heart of God

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Discovering the gospel in the heart of the Beatitudes, made me read the whole list very differently. Rather than a disjointed list of random blessings, the Beatitudes are a journey.

They take us from our starting point (impoverished, broken, grieving, afflicted), gift us outrageously, and pass through the gospel to what we become: pure, peacemakers, prophets.

Where the first four Beatitudes pull us out of our brokenness, the last four set out our victory: this is what we are saved for. This is what we become.

Blessed Are the Peacemakers

In the parallel lines of the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God” parallels “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” In the post on that blessing, I pointed out that in the Greek, the blessing is literally that God will come alongside the grief-stricken. He will personally draw near to them.

When we have experienced that–when we have come through the gospel and known God as our Comforter–we find ourselves with a mission. As God has drawn near to us, so we are to draw near to others. As God has come alongside us, so we are to come alongside others.

And even more, it is our mission–our beautiful work–to make our comfort available to others. Paul says it best:

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)

To be a peacemaker means far more than being someone who calms a situation down or negotiates between people. “Peace” in biblical language is a much more far-reaching idea than that. Peace is reconciliation. It is wholeness. It is healing and prosperity and blessedness.

It is shalom.

Children of God

In Greek, the word here translated “children” doesn’t just identify paternity; it emphasizes resemblance. When our primary mission is to come alongside those who suffer, to identify with them and to bring them near to God, the world will look at us and see Someone else. We will resemble our Father.


Our mission here is to do as God has done and to bring his Presence near to others:

To see the hurting for who they truly are.
To come near them.
To sit with them, to mourn with them, to encourage and strengthen them.
And to offer them the most beautiful thing of all:
To offer them healing and wholeness in the midst of their brokenness.
Not through our own power or our own ability,
But through the availability of an incredible blessing:
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
On Christ’s behalf we plead, “Be reconciled to God.”

Blessed Are the Reconciliation Makers

Sometimes it’s easy to get militant about our faith in a way that isn’t helpful. There is a way to be militant that is good; Paul used military language for a reason. But we can’t forget that the New Testament never identifies other people as the enemy. Our enemy is spiritual, and the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.

It’s my opinion that many of us need to re-vision our identity through the lens of the Beatitudes.

We need to understand ourselves as something other than condemnation-bringers.
We are not right-opinion-expressers.
We are not (primarily) sin-identifiers.
We are not (primarily) apologists.
Certainly not argument-winners.

We are reconciliation-makers.
We are children of God.

Comfort and the Heart of God

We have been comforted. God has come to us when we least deserved it. The Creator of the universe has drawn close to us, not with condemnation or shame, but with love, encouragement, tenderness, and an offer of new life.

That comfort is given to us, Paul says, to pass along. We aren’t just saved to be saved. We’re saved to catch a vision. We’re saved to become like God. We’re saved to learn to care.

If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is experienced in your endurance of the same sufferings that we suffer. (2 Corinthians 1:6)

In this blessing, number 7 in the Beatitudes–interestingly the number of divine perfection–we see the heart of God. We see what he wants us to become and what he wants us to offer. We see what he wants to give the world.

I know it sounds flaky. I know it sounds all flower-power and too warm and fuzzy and good to be true. And yes, there is a lot of fire and suffering and purity that comes into the picture. But in the end, it’s true:

What God wants to give the world is himself.
He wants to draw near.
He wants to comfort.
He wants to give the whole world a hug.
To say “I understand.”
And to say “Come home to me.”

“We can be reconciled. You can be whole again. I know you’re hurting. I know. I care.”

We plead, on Christ’s behalf: “Be reconciled to God.”

(This is Part 29 in a series on the Gospel of Matthew, which you can access here. Unless otherwise marked, quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.)



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