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Blessed are the Peacemakers by Pastor Youngjae Jee

posted Oct 23, 2014, 3:14 PM by Bowmansville UMC


From the internet, I found this story about a famous painter in the 15th century called Leonardo da Vinci.  While he was at his work, a few boys who wanted to be painters visited him to learn a thing or two from him.  Leonardo was in the middle of drawing Jesus’ face on the canvas.  A boy accidentally stumbled over one of the legs of the easel on which Leonardo was working.  He got upset, threw his brush away and yelled at the boy.  “….”  The boy burst into tears and ran out of the gallery.  Leonardo tried to get back to work but he couldn’t.  He couldn’t regain the same inspiration after he exploded his anger to a little boy.  He went out, found the boy, and apologized  for what he did.  Then he was finally able to get back to his work of drawing Jesus’ face.

Leonardo might have thought he was entitled to be upset and therefore it was okay to vent his anger, but soon he realized that his reaction did not go along in spirit with his divine work of art of drawing Jesus’ face.  He didn’t have to apologize.  Maybe the boy should have apologized to him.  However, it was Leonardo himself who came to know the sharp spiritual conflict between the quick temper and his divine work.  He was not passive, but he went out and looked for him and apologized, because he knew that was the way the Spirit led him. 

I have had the same experiences.  While I prepare a sermon, if I get into a fight with my wife, I would have a really difficult time.  Sermon preparation and the fight with the spouse do not go along with each other.  It is so painful for me to carry on with such a conflict.  The spiritual conflict is so acute that it becomes no longer important to see who is right or wrong.  If I want to continue to do God’s work without pain I have to make peace with my wife first.  It is simply because that is the way God wants it to be. 

Hence, if you have enemies in your family, church, or community, I recommend you to have an opportunity to preach or to do any other God’s works sincerely.  Then you may have to be able to make peace with your enemies. Do you remember Jacob wrestled with God at the riverside of Jabbok?  He finally made peace with his enemy, his brother Esau.  You approach God and wrestle with Him seeking his blessing, then he gives you the right spirit and through you to others.  “When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7)  

Likewise, Jesus said, “Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go reconciled to your brother (and sister); then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:24)  We exchange peace in Christ at the beginning of the service.  That is not meant to be just our polite or courteous gesture but our serious and sincere preparation before God as worshipers. That is the way to receive God’s blessing.

A girl accidentally hit a cup on the table and spilled juice all over the floor.  Her older sister said  to her mom, to protect her little sister, “Mom, it is my fault.  I should not have put the cup in her way.  Besides, she is just a little girl.”  Her mom said, “No, it is no one’s fault.  Everyone makes mistakes.  I am thankful that your little sister wasn’t hurt by that.”  Does this sound too ideal for you?  Where is the who-is-right-and-who-is-wrong talk?   Does it really matter? 

Proverbs 17:9 says, “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”  Proverbs 15:17 says, “Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.”  Think about your family, your church family, and your communities.  Are you too busy to talk about who is right and who is wrong and who is to be blamed and who is not?  Here is what 1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, love each other because love covers a multitude of sins.”  The righteousness God teaches us is based on love.  Who is right, then?  The one who loves!

God loves the world so much that he gave his one and only son Jesus the Christ.  Jesus revealed God’s love on the cross.  He didn’t blame our faults.  He took the blame on his shoulder to cover up all our sins with his love.  On the cross he put to death our hostility and destroyed our barrier.  He becomes the way of reconciliation and peace between God and us and among us.  Now he calls us to walk on his way with him. 

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.  And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

Our ministry is what? The ministry of reconciliation!  What message do we give to the world?  The message of reconciliation!  If our ministry builds up barriers or hostility among us, then it is a sign of failure, even if it looks effective and functioning well.  We are, therefore, Christ’s ambassadors.  “Be reconciled to God.  God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)  God’s righteousness is to believe in Jesus so that we live the ministry of reconciliation that is initiated out of God’s love through Jesus Christ.  Then we become sons and daughters of God.

Hear the word of Jesus Christ our LORD, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons and daughters of God.” (Matthew 5:9)  Amen.