"Blessed are the peacemakers," Jesus said (Matthew 5:9). Interestingly, this is the only time in all the New Testament that the Greek term translated "peacemakers" appears. Maybe it will help us understand the meaning by pointing out first what it does not mean.
Insight for Today
Written by Chuck Swindoll, these encouraging devotional thoughts are published seven days per week.
Let me urge you today to become, as Jesus said, "pure in heart" (Matthew 5:8). Think about what it would mean, what changes you would have to make, what habits you'd have to break...most of all, what masks you'd have to peel off.
Wow, Jesus said that! It is doubtful He despised anything among those who claimed to serve God more than hypocrisy—a lack of purity of heart. Did you notice what characterized the phoney Pharisees?
True servants are merciful. They care. They get involved. They get dirty, if necessary. They offer more than pious words. And what do they get in return? What does Christ promise? "They shall receive mercy."
"Blessed are the merciful," Jesus said. Mercy is concern for people in need. It is ministry to the miserable. Offering help for those who hurt...who suffer under the distressing blows of adversity and hardship.
The bottom-line question is not, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" but rather, "What are you becoming, now that you're grown?"
The true servant of God possesses an insatiable appetite for what is right, a passionate drive for justice. Spiritually speaking, the servant is engaged in a pursuit of God...a hot, restless, eager longing to walk with Him, to please Him. That's who Jesus referred to when He said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness" (Matthew 5:6).
So then, gentleness includes such enviable qualities as having strength under control, being calm and peaceful when surrounded by a heated atmosphere, emitting a soothing effect on those who may be angry or otherwise beside themselves, and possessing tact and gracious courtesy that causes others to retain their self-esteem and dignity.
And the promise for "those who mourn"? The Saviour promises, "they shall be comforted" (5:4). In return for the compassionate mourning they have given, comfort will be theirs to claim.
This spirit of humility is very rare in our day of strong-willed, proud-peacock attitudes. The clinched fist has replaced the bowed head.