Blessed Are The Peacemakers | Matthew 5:9

March 13, 2022 Speaker: Curtis Hall Series: Stand Alone Sermons

Topic: Gospel Passage: Matthew 5:9



Good morning, Mercy Fellowship. Hope you are all doing well this morning. If you don’t  know me, my name is Curtis Hall. Honored to be preaching today. We are pausing in our series  in 1 Peter, and focusing this morning on one of the beatitudes. The reason being, is that I was  already on the schedule to preach this week, but last week I preached at another church on this  beatitude, and Pastor Chris was kind enough to allow me to preach that same sermon this  Sunday. Also, come this summer, we will be doing a sermon series on the Sermon On The  Mount, so this will be a bit of a teaser for what is to come.  

I don’t know about you, but when I read the Sermon on the Mount, which is Jesus most  famous teaching, there is a call that comes from that sermon for us, to buy in to a different way  of living life. 

It calls to you and I to live differently than we do now, as God’s people; the church. A.W. Tozer  who said “A frightened world needs a fearless church.” Not a church that is reckless or careless,  but fearless because it believe in a good, sovereign God. If there was ever a time the world  needed bold Christians who truly believe the words that Jesus said, it is now. It’s not about being  more conservative or more liberal, it’s about being other-worldly. Another word you could say is,  Counter-Cultural.  

“The world does not need cool Christians who are culturally saturated. Rather, it needs exiles  with the scent of heaven on them.” - John Piper 

My hope for us is that we would be fearless in our day and faithful to all that God has called us  to be.  

So if you have a bible today, we are going to be in Matthews gospel, chapter 5 looking at the  beatitudes. And Jesus Sermon On The Mount is in fact a call to be counter-cultural. But before  we get to our verse today, it is so important that we understand the context and purpose for why  Matthew wrote His gospel, because if we miss that, we will miss much of what Matthew is  trying to communicate.  


We often think so poorly of the gospels in the church, by believing they are only history,  no more no less. The gospels are so much more than just history. They are created pieces of art.  Written specifically to a specific people in a specific time with a specific message; Matthew is  doing just that. He is writing to a church that is primarily Jewish, not 100%, but primarily. And  he is writing trying to convince them that this Jesus is in fact, the long-awaited Savior of the  world. This is why Matthew’s gospel is the first in the NT. It is the continuing story of God’s  people, Israel.  

Matthew has many themes that are running through his gospel, however when it comes to the  Sermon On The Mount, what Matthew does is genius. He traces the story of Jesus in a direct  parallel to the story of Moses. You say “How so?”


Parallel between Jesus & Moses: 

If you grew up in church, you may know the story of Moses life. Moses is God’s chosen  man for the task of redeeming Israel from slavery; and he does just that. In Egypt, God’s people  are freed from slavery after a series of plagues, they are freed from Egypt and come across the  red sea, where the waters are parted and they walk across. They then come into the wilderness  where they will be for 40 years. After the wilderness, they go to Mount Sinai, where the law of  God is given to the newly-freed people of Israel through Moses. (Egypt, Water, Wilderness,  Mountain) 

Now you take that story and compare it with Matthews Gospel and the story of Jesus.  What is happening? Well, Jesus was born and then He and his family flee to Egypt for safety.  The gospel goes on that they return from Egypt when he is older in life. He then goes and passes  through the water, by being baptized in the river and after his baptism, He is in wilderness for 40  days. After being in the wilderness, Jesus goes and begins His sermon on the Mount. (Egypt,  Water, Wilderness, Mountain) 

Do you see the Parallels between Jesus and Moses? Now you may see it and be  impressed, but we must ask the question “Why is this important?” 

This is so important. To the Jews, Moses is their guy! He is the one who redeemed them.  He is the mediator between God and man, he is the one who received the law from God. And  Matthew is coming along and saying “Yeah, Moses is your guy, but Jesus is better than him!” 

How’s Jesus better?: 

It’s not just that you need to be freed from physical slavery, that’s important and I’m not saying it  isn’t. What’s being communicated though is that there is a slavery in our heart and minds  because of sin and death. Due to our depravity. And someone has to come and deliver us from  those things; redeem us! And that’s exactly what Jesus does.  

A Better Word Found In Jesus: 

This is a word here for you and me. We for the last couple years, especially due to covid  and being locked in, we have fallen into echo chambers of surrounding ourselves with people  that agree with us, and we feast upon their words. This morning, let me tell you, there is a better  word and it’s found in Jesus. We have God’s words right here, church. His words are life! His  words are food to our bones. As C. S. Lewis said “Deny a man food and he will gobble poison,”  we are all guilty of gobbling poison. What I want to do is call us back to feasting upon this, to  know and savor the words of God. Don’t you find yourselves exhausted? Aren’t you tired and  burdened by what you see in the world? Feast on this, and as you feast on this may you find  yourself strengthened by it and your peace abounding. 

Parallels Between Exodus and Christians: 

Now if Jesus is the better Moses than the parallelism continues on, to where those who  have placed their trust in Jesus are the people of God and have been redeemed from slavery of  sin and death, just like Israel was. And Jesus begins in His sermon by addressing His disciples;  these are people who already follow Jesus. 


Identity precedes action:  

It’s important that we understand what comes first. Our identity in Christ, must precede  our action. These are already disciples of Jesus and now Jesus is telling them how to live as His  dicisples. He’s telling them “The kingdom of heaven is at hand, so repent.” So change your  ways.  

We change our behavior not to earn the favor of God, rather because of what He has done  by saving us. 

Now I say this, and most church people will say “Yeah Curtis, we know. Nothing we can do to  lose God’s favor if we’re in Christ.” And that is true, but make no mistake, how you act matters  greatly! If it didn’t, then Jesus wouldn’t have talked about it.  

“We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.” - Martin Luther 


And Jesus begins His sermon by laying the characteristics of a Christian.  

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Blessed are those who  mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.  6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.  7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for  they shall see God. 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 


Have you ever thought of this? I’ve been preaching for only a couple of years now fairly  regularly, and what I’ve found as I study things like peace, grace or hope, words that are  commonly used in society is that in one sense, it seems obvious that everyone knows what it is  because we talk about it so much and yet the reality is we have at best, vague conceptions  culturally of what peace is.  

Because what do you think of when you think of peace? Buddha statue? Peace symbol from the  70’s. Specific activities like yoga or some sort of scenery like a sunset. Perhaps you think of  silence as peace. Culturally, when we talk about peace it can simply means the absence of  conflict. That’s good and fine, we don’t want conflict. But what takes the place of conflict? The  biblical idea of peace, is not just the absence of conflict, but it is the effort to make complete/ whole. It is making order out of chaos. It means to take that which is broken and repair it. It  means to take that which is stolen and return it and make it whole. 

Now this is what peace is, we can’t just move forward on how we apply it. I think it is  vitally important we ask “Why do we need peace.”  


We have to go all the way back to Genesis, where we see that God created all things good, and  He created our first parents Adam and Eve, and provided for their joy and flourishing by giving 


the tasks to work and keep the land and to grow in number, literally discipleship. God created  everything good and they sinned. Adam and Eve chose to disobey God despite all the good that  He had set up for them and provided for them, and still they thought and we think that we are  better on our own without God. Ever since the fall we have been as humans in a constant  pursuit of peace, trying anything and everything. From one extreme of people mutilating their  flesh, to another of people using essential oils. We are in need of peace. 

So where do you look for peace? I want to lay before you two extremes that some groups  practice to try and find peace, and maybe you land somewhere in between.  Buddhism: Buddhist don’t believe in a god and they believe that all of life is suffering,  and the reason for suffering is because of desire. So how do we get rid of suffering? We get rid of  desire. And once we get rid of desire, then we have found peace. Millions of people in this group  say this is the way to find peace.  

Hedonism: Hedonism is the pursuit of all pleasure and that by maximizing pleasure, we  can minimize suffering. Nothing is held back. If you desire it, go after it. The thought is, once  you have fulfilled your desire than you’ll have peace. What’s the repeated testimony of  Hedonists? It doesn’t work. Drinking salt water thinking it will satisfy your thirst.  

Did that truck/car satisfy? Did that new house satisfy? When you had those kids?  Grandkids? That certain number in the bank account? 

The truth is that neither of these approaches are entirely wrong. There are certain things  we desire that if we had them, would destroy us and our relationships around us. Not all that is  desired is good. But, Not all desires are bad either. To see this clearly, there’s a verse in the  Psalms that says “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  And the idea behind that, is that if you find your ultimate pleasure in God, if He is the thing that  brings you peace, then you will have the desires of your heart because your desires will line with  what God desires. *John Piper 

So where do you look for peace? 

These are two extremes, but where on the spectrum from these two points do you look for  peace? Do you chase after things to give you peace? Do you starve yourself of things to give you  peace? When we look for peace, what’s your process and have you found it?  


And a fear of mine is that we pursue peace wrongly, most of the time at the cost of truth  or righteousness. 

We don’t like conflict. I don’t like conflict either, but sometimes conflict is good and necessary  to deal with things.  

We often sacrifice the wrong things for peacemaking to where, in the end, not only is conflict  gone but we don’t have peace either. 

False Prophets: 


This was the critique that God had of some false prophets in the OT. They would prophesy what  people wanted to hear. They would go into the streets, in the busy market places and declare  “Peace, peace!” Where there was no peace.  


The beauty of the gospel of Jesus is this, that I don’t need to search the world for peace, but  rather the Prince of Peace has come down and found us! And what confidence does Jesus give us  of this? “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” - John 14:27 

Jesus then calls us to imitate Him by being people that produce peace in this world. 


Peacemaking is a road we travel on, not a destination we arrive at. I don’t believe that we  do a few good things and declare “We have arrived. We have now made peace.” As long as we  live in a broken world we, as followers of Jesus will always be in the business of making peace.  

1) Peacemaking calls for reconciliation: 

19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to  himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. -  Colossians 1:19-20 

 Any of you have siblings you fought with growing up? There is always reconciliation  needing to take place.  

Reconciliation means there are two parties that have animosity between each other and  there is a restoration of relationship and peace between the two. 

What this comes down to though, is making sure we understand the gospel. Do we  understand that we in our sin were enemies of God. It’s not that God was angry towards us so  much so that it was that we in our sinful nature did not want God. But God, in His great mercy  and kindness reached out to us for reconciliation. I think it is vital though that we understand that  the only way that we have peace in this world is when we have peace with God. And from this  place of peace with God and being reconciled to Him, we can go and be peacemakers elsewhere.  

Now, there is some instances where reconciliation doesn’t always happen. These would  be instances of abuse or instances where one party does not want reconciliation. What do we do  with that? The Apostle Paul would remind us: 

18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. - Romans 12:18


I love of wisdom in this verse, because Paul says simply “You focus on you. If it only  depends on you, live in peace with others. I fear when I say that though, I give an escape for  some of you to not pursue peace. Let me encourage with this story. *Corrie Ten Boom story.  Peacemaking calls for reconciliation.  

2) Peacemaking requires sacrifice: 

Peacemaking as we read in Colossians was made possible because of Jesus sacrifice on  the Cross. Do you see this? There is a cost to peacemaking.  

That when two parties are against each other and someone has been robbed/hurt, often  times the way reconciliation and peace takes place is when someone absorbs the wrong that was  done. This is what Jesus did for you and for me. 2 Cor. 5:21 

*Brian selling his truck. Gets fish hooked and comes back and asks for forgiveness, The couple  that bought it not only forgave him but absorbed the loss.  

You think of the examples we have just recently of the church in hard places around the world  sticking it out for the sake of preaching this gospel of peace.  

 - “Our song leader chose the hymn 'A Mighty Fortress is Our God.' As we sang the final verse,  an Afghan brother came and whispered in my ear, 'Ashraf Ghani, Afghanistan’s president, just  resigned. The Taliban are now in control.' And we sang, Let goods and kindred go, this mortal  life also; the body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still; his kingdom is forever! 

 - In Ukraine, a Pastor named Vasyl Ostryi says this: 

“My wife and I, along with our 4 daughters have decided to remain in our city near Kyiv. We  want to serve the people here along with Irpin Bible Church where I joined the pastoral team in  2016. In anticipation of coming disaster, we’ve bought a supply of food, medicine, and fuel so  that, if necessary, we’ll be able to help those in need rather than burden them…How should the  church respond when there is a growing threat of war? When there is constant fear in society?  I’m convinced that if the church is not relevant at a time of crisis, then it is not relevant in a time  of peace.”  

Church, this is what the church was built for, for producing peace in the world. It’s in our  DNA, because our forerunner, Jesus Christ set the example for us that peacemaking often comes  at the price of sacrifice. That’s why the apostle Paul says that we “Are all like sheep that are led  to the slaughter. The refuse of all things” 

3) Peacemaking is more than just good intentions: 


If it hasn’t been obvious yet, peacemaking requires work, not just good intentions. This  goes back to how well we understand the gospel. Because the Bible doesn’t say “God so loved  the world that he thought good things about you.” It doesn’t say “God so loved the world that he  intended to save it from their sins.”  

Good intentions have never saved anyone. Good intentions have never produced peace anywhere  in this world. Peacemaking is more than just a feeling it is a call to action in imitating our Lord  Jesus.  

And what is the result of doing this? What is the result of being a peacemaker? The result is that  you are called Sons of God.  


 - You have the family resemblance: *Ruth’s family 

Being a peacemaker means you have the family look. You look like your Father in Heaven. You  have the same attitude as your savior Jesus, and you’re sealed with the Holy Spirit.  


 Where does all this peacemaking end? Well, Isaiah the prophet foretelling of Jesus  coming says “Of the increase of his government and peace, there will be no end.” Meaning there  is always work to do.  

But James, the brother of Jesus writes about this and He says 17 But the wisdom from above is  first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and  sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” - James  3:17-18 

A harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. What is righteousness? A  right relationship with God given to us by Jesus alone. A harvest of people being made right with  God is sown in peace. Do you know what this is talking about? It’s about revival.  

All peacemaking is aiming at leading people to trust in Jesus as Lord over all who saves  us from the slavery of our own sin and saves us from death.  

This morning, do you trust in Jesus? The prince of Peace, Jesus has rescued you and set you free  from the slavery of sin and death and now calls you and I to be on the rescue team as well of  being peacemakers in our day.  

Let’s commit to being the best christians we can in our day. ^ And maybe things don’t change in  the first year or two, but over time perhaps a harvest of righteousness takes place.  “Wonder anew what the almighty can do.”