FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART
THE MARKS OF A TRUE DISCIPLE
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” – Matthew 5:9
The world desires peace. But the reality is that any experience of true peace is at best a temporal one. For man in his fallen nature is unable to make peace with the world. Interestingly the word ‘peacemaker’ in Matthew 5:9 is used nowhere else in the New Testament. Perhaps God is hinting that this virtue is indeed a precious and rare commodity?
Now biblical peace is not an absence of conflict or avoidance of convictions. It is not sweeping things under the carpet to avoid trouble. Rather it is an active pursuit of peace and harmony. True peacemakers will confront if necessary. They are active in making peace, not just keeping it.
Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is the perfect peacemaker. When Jesus was born a great company of angels appeared before the shepherds and praised God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests” (Luke 2:14). Jesus said to His disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you…” (John 14:27). When Jesus offered His body on the Cross He did so to reconcile all man to God in peace. Nelson Mandela, a Christian and South Africa’s first black president, spent twenty-seven years in jail as a prisoner of apartheid, yet he sought to win over its defeated guardians in a relatively peaceful transition of power that inspired the world. He was a peacemaker.
In a world of much turmoil and trouble, true peacemakers offer God’s peace by proclaiming the good news of our King Jesus and making peace wherever they go, even if it pains them. Now the world will see God’s peacemakers as troublemakers; that is because the world has no understanding of what true peace is. For the peace that Jesus gives is different from the one that is being offered by the world (John 14:27). Disciples of Jesus Christ know that total peace cannot be realised in the world they live in. But make peace they must because that peace will reveal God to the world. They do so by: 1. Being Christ-centred in what they say and do; 2. Being a blessing to people and not a curse; 3. Bring true peace and harmony, not break them. Disciples of Jesus Christ carry and offer God’s peace wherever they go. How can you be a peacemaker at home, at work, in public? Shalom.
Ps Simon Say