Matthew 5:9 – “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”
Eirene is the Greek word for peace, and Matthew recorded the Beatitudes in Greek. Jesus, however, spoke Aramaic, a form of Hebrew. The Hebrew word is shalom, and it is to that word that we go to understand this beatitude. Shalom is more than the absence of strife; it is the presence of harmony and brotherhood.
Jesus pronounces blessings, not on those who avoid confrontation, but on those who make peace. The avoidance of confrontation may simply allow evil to rampage unfettered. The making of peace, paradoxically, may involve force.
One example….During the civil rights upheaval of the 1960s, a member of my congregation criticized Martin Luther King for causing trouble. He said that trouble followed King wherever he went, proving that King must be a troublemaker. It was difficult for him to understand that King might be a peacemaker rather than a troublemaker—and that the true evil might lie on the side of the segregationists.
So…peace. I love the use of the word Shalom here which translated is more about the absence of strife. Strife mean an angry or bitter disagreement over fundamental issues; a conflict.
We find ourselves each day struggling with strife. Strife wears us down. Makes us long for it’s absence. It makes us long for a bit of shalom in our life.
Today. How is strife pulling you away from God? How is strife handled in your day to day. Seek peace. I firmly believe that the more that we seek peace in our lives, the more we become peacemakers in the lives of those around us.