Posted by: sean | October 17, 2007

Matthew 5.9 (2)

taken from The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pg 65.

‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.’ The followers of Jesus have been called to peace. When he called them they found their peace, for he is their peace. But now they are told that they must not only have peace but make it. And to that end they renounce all violence and tumult. In the cause of Christ nothing is to be gained by such methods. His kingdom is one of peace, and the mutual greeting of his flock is a greeting of peace. His disciples keep the peace by choosing to endure suffering themselves rather than inflict it on others. They maintain fellowship where others would break it off. They renounce self-assertion, and quietly suffer in the face of hatred and wrong. In so doing they overcome evil with good, and establish the peace of God in the midst of a world of war and hate. But nowhere will that peace be more manifest than where they meet the wicked in peace and are ready to suffer at their hands. The peacemakers will carry the cross with their Lord, for it was on the cross that peace was made. Now that they are partners in Christ’s work of reconciliation, they are called the sons of God as he is the Son of God.



  1. This is a great statement, taken from The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pg 65. but I would go further than Bonhoeffer on this quote of Jesus—“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”

    Jesus is the only “child of God” that I’ve ever recognized and he even referred to himself that way several times. I think he snuck this in a humble position as the seventh beatitude during His great teaching in the Sermon on the Mount as a statement of His own mission.

    Some people may see the term “peacemaker” and say it is different than a pacifist, but the origin of the word pacifist is from French in the 19th century. The word in the early Greek and Latin bibles would be the same word and could be easily translated either way. So, did Jesus merely attempt to make peace (as a peace maker)? –or would He offer himself as a nonviolent, pacifist when confronted with violence? We must admit that He hasn’t “made” peace, even among his followers who have been the most violent and aggressive countries on earth. But He did refuse to let Peter defend him in Gethsemane, and He didn’t call on his father’s twelve legions of angels, like a true pacifist would.

    Paul knew this aspect of Jesus and explained it in his letter to the Ephesians (Eph 2:13-20). The essential verses are: (17) and He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; (18) for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. (19) So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household.

    While a peace maker doesn’t “have” to be a pacifist, His actions should speak louder than our words.

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