Peace. Peaceful. Peacefulness.
Peace is quiet. It is calm. It is serene. It is slow, steady, and unperturbed. Peace is when things are just as they ought to be, set to rights, just so. Peace when the things that are happening are just what ought to be happening and no conflict occurs.
But in Matthew 5 Jesus says “Blessed are the peace makers for they shall inherit the earth.” Read that again. Not “blessed are the peaceful.” “Blessed are the peace makers.” This is no blessing for the passive and the calm; it is a blessing for the intentional and the active.
No peace occurs without justice. A peace maker is a justice maker. He or she is a doer of deeds and a pursuer of a cause. That cause is the gospel which is the truest peace.
The peace makers will inherit the earth, not because they will wait passively and patiently for God’s victory, but because they will further the cause of God’s kingdom. They will be part of God’s victory, and he has promised blessing for doing so. There is no blessing in this verse for the sideline dwellers, the watchers, the waiters, and the water boys.
In fact, being a peacemaker is likely the least peaceful calling. It calls us to the forefront of the advancement of God’s cause. To make peace is to venture into the places where it isn’t, to stand between unrest and those who need rest, in some cases to fight what is wrong for the sake of what is right. The weak need defending, the poor need serving, the unjust need facing and rebuking, and the gospel needs declaring. And the Bible promises that it is not peace we will get for these actions, but pain and persecution.
And so, “blessed are the peace makers, for they shall inherit the earth” doesn’t mean they will conquer, or even succeed. It looks forward, to an earth when peace will be ushered in and established by the perfect maker of peace. And he will give it as inheritance to those who sought this peace with commitment and passion in this life.