This week we meet a verse that can be somewhat controversial in the warrior thought sector. We read in Matthew 5:9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Those of us in Law Enforcement have all heard this verse. It is commonly quoted, and it is the signature line on many a police officer’s email. I ask: do we really understand the meaning of the verse?
There are some who ardently believe and argue that this verse is directly associated with police, and there are some who argue fervently that this verse has little to do with police and everything to do with having peace with and under our God. Who is right? Now factor in the clear and distinct reality that most in Law Enforcement are type A personalities and we have the potential for a storm when speaking our opinion about this verse. We can have the ever-present “I am right and you are wrong” position that comes into play in conversation on the topic. In this light, I humbly assert my position as to exactly what I believe Jesus meant when He said these words to the masses sitting before Him over 2,000 years ago.
I think both positions have truth in them. Exegetically speaking, I think Jesus was using this as a broad stroke of a brush, because independently He taught both truths at separate times. When Jesus’ teachings are observed in totality the word “peacemaker” can mean the making of peace within the earthly realm and making of peace within the heavenly realm. The issue of contention that many have is now merely a position of location, but the agent of peace remains the same throughout. The entire Beatitude list focuses on human attributes in direct relation to God and this verse is not removed from this list simply because we want to do so. My position is not to focus on the difference in location, but to focus on the act itself: The making of peace though the practice of God’s moral code. The focal point is, and remains, God, and not ourselves.
So who is correct? I think both are if we understand that this verse is not centered on us, but centered on God. This verse teaches us what our intention should be in conflict. It should always be to make peace and not war with fellow believers. It should be to focus on making peace under God.
There are times in any warrior line of work that we must use force to make peace, but our intentions should always be towards that end. We make peace for the innocent by incarcerating the evil. We make peace for the weak by stopping the illegitimately aggressive and violent. We make peace by not quarreling with our brothers and sisters over issues that are small in the big picture. We make peace by teaching God’s moral code and teaching of His love towards us. We are to create it where it doesn’t exist. This was why many of us began our careers in law enforcement.
This verse does not mean that all you have to do is wear a badge and gun as a police officer and you will be called a son or daughter of God. It does mean that if our driving force in our daily decisions is to make peace with our fellow created beings under God, we will be blessed by Him and will be called His sons and daughters. In the end we are to be like Christ, who was crucified to make peace between us and our Heavenly Father. The Apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 1:19-20: “For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross.”
We are to emulate His intention, because it is driven out of love for us.
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Matthew 5:9 – “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall becalmed the sons and daughters of God.”