“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9 (TNIV)
This is the seventh of the beatitudes, and seven was the number of perfection among the Hebrews. It may be that the Savior placed this blessing seventh on the list because the peaceful child of God is perfected in the person of Jesus Christ.
Anyone who seeks perfect blessedness (as far as it can be experienced here and now on Earth) must grasp this seventh benediction and become a peacemaker. There is significance in the position of this verse. The verse which comes before it speaks of the blessedness of “the pure in heart: for they will see God.” Understand that we are to be “first pure, then peaceable.” (James 3:17, KJV) Our peaceableness must never permit sinful behavior or toleration of evil. We must set our faces sternly against everything which is contrary to God and His holiness. Once our souls are settled, we can continue on towards peaceableness.
The verse that follows also seems to be positioned on purpose: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Regardless of how peaceable we may be, we will be misrepresented and misunderstood. And this should be no surprise, because even the Prince of Peace, by His perfect peacefulness, ended up bringing fire on the earth. Jesus Christ, though He loved humankind and did no harm, was “despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.” (Isaiah 53:3) Therefore, the peaceable in heart should not be surprised when they meet with enemies, despite their peacefulness.
Lord, give us grace to climb towards this seventh beatitude! Purify our minds that we may be “first pure, then peaceable,” and fortify our souls, that our peaceableness may not lead us into cowardice and despair when, for Your sake, we are persecuted.
Question: Where in your life can you act as a peacemaker?
Originally written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
Updated to modern English by Darren Hewer, 2009
Used by Permission