Matthew 5:9 (New International Version)
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
The Greek eironopoios means establishing a friendly relationship between persons.* This implies that there was not a “friendly relationship” prior to the peacemaking. Peacemaking is, quite simply, bringing peace where there was not peace before. It is reconciliation. It’s the restoration of an important relational bond.
And isn’t that exactly what Jesus did for us? In 2 Corinthians 5:18, the apostle Paul celebrated Jesus’ self-sacrificial peacekeeping: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself though Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” Or, as it appears in The Message paraphrase: “All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other.”
In today’s passage, Jesus tells us that peacemakers will be called children of God. The word used here for “children” is yios, which means child, offspring, descendant, one adopted as a son.* It means “one who shares a special relationship with or likeness to someone or something.”**
I especially like that last definition: “shares a special relationship with or likeness to.” When we seek peace in our relationships– in our family, church, workplace, community, world– we are acting in a way that shows the “family resemblance” between us and Jesus. When we are peacemakers, we demonstrate that we are in fact God’s children: reaching out in love, forgiveness, and grace. Just as God does.
What actions can you take today to seek peace?
* Friberg lexicon
** United Bible Society Greek New Testament