Verse of the Day Devotion: Matthew 5:9
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” – Matthew 5:9
This verse is part of what is commonly called the sermon on the mount. After His temptations, Jesus began His ministry, which started with calling His disciples. He also ministered wherever He went. And great crowds became interested in what He was saying. “Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.” Matthew 4:23-25.
Notice what it says in verse 1, “When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.” Matthew 5:1. It looks here like Jesus intended this primarily for His disciples, however, as we read through the entire sermon in chapters 5-7, we see that it had things to say for the entire crowd.
Let’s look closer at our focus verse. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” One important characteristic of God’s true people is to seek peace and pursue it. This is stated by David in the psalms. “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:13-14. John Wesley in his commentary on the Psalms said this. ‘Seek by all means possible to live peaceable with all men. Pursue it. Do not only embrace it gladly when it is offered, but follow hard after it, when it seems to flee away from thee.’ This is a great way to put it. Do not just accept it when it comes to you but pursue it when it is gone.
Those of us who love God should do everything possible to do good to all people. The word ‘peace’ in the scriptures implies all blessings both temporal and eternal. And peacemakers are those who strive to prevent any type of contention and strife. We are to use our influence to reconcile opposing parties. This includes in the areas of church differences, legal matters, or any hostilities that come between people. Strife and division do nothing positive anywhere it is found. We have many opportunities to help reconcile opposing people. We all can do much to promote peace. And if possible, it should be addressed in the beginning, before animosity has a chance to grow and flourish. Long and most hostile quarrels might often be prevented by a little kind interference in the beginning.
Jesus was referred to as the Prince of Peace. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6. He is the prince that brings peace to all men. He brought peace between us and God, and He desires peace among all men. Paul says regarding God, “for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” 1 Corinthians 14:33. And those of us who promote peace and tranquility and work hard in bringing peace wherever it is needed, these are those who do the work of God as Christ did and are worthy to be called God’s children. So, let us focus our attention to eliminate all division and dissension and replace it with peace. This is one of the more important work Christ’s disciples are called to do.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.