Makarios – know what that is? We typically read this in our Bible translated as Blessed or Happy. We’ve come to one of those passage quoted by many types of people. Even non-Christians know some of these. We are walking through this passage and breaking them down a few at a time.
We have three more left. So let’s dive in.
“Blessed [spiritually calm with life-joy in God’s favor] are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they will [express His character and] be called the sons of God.
In commentaries, we find some of the following on the word commonly translated as “peacemakers”:
founders and promoters of peace are meant; who not only keep the peace, but seek to bring men into harmony with each other. (Vincent Word Studies)
It is hard enough to keep the peace. It is still more difficult to bring peace where it is not. (Robertson’s Word Pictures)
Those who strive to prevent contention, strife, and war; who use their influence to reconcile opposing parties, and to prevent lawsuits and hostilities in families and neighborhoods. (Albert Barnes)
In reading about peacemakers, it isn’t just an offensive or passive skill, it’s a defensive and active skill. To bring peace or harmony to a situation, even if there is none initially.
Happy those persecuted for righteousness’ sake — because theirs is the reign of the heavens. (YLT)
I was a little shocked when I read the meaning of the word translated as persecuted. I saw words in the definition such as: flee; put to flight, drive away; run swiftly in order to catch; to harass, trouble; follow after; to pursue. Not words I think of when I hear persecuted.
Many times I’ve heard this verse quoted leaving out the “for righteousness’ sake.” It’s not about being persecuted, it’s about being persecuted for things that are acceptable to God. So this is talking about being persecuted for living the way God wants us to live.
“Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil things against you because of [your association with] Me. 12 Be glad and exceedingly joyful, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
To me this verse clarifies these things people are persecuting us for should be false. We have to check ourselves, are we being persecuted, insulted, and talked about in regards to things which are pleasing to God or man? Are the evil things being said against us false, or true? If they are pleasing to God and if the evil things are false, then we should be joyful, knowing we have pleased God.
This brings us to the end of this section commonly referred to as the Sermon on the Mount or The Beatitudes.