Have You Lost Your Mind? (A study of Christ’s peacemaking)



          Jesus was prophesied as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), and when the angels announced His arrival, the heavenly host proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14 [ESV]; NKJV and KJV omit the last phrase).
          Read Mark 5:24-34. In addition to healing her, Jesus told the woman, “Go in peace.” Why was the woman healed? Simply because she touched His garment? What did Jesus say? Similarly, at the Pharisee’s house, He told the woman who washed His feet with her tears, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace” (Luke 7:36-50). With whom did these women now have peace? What is the connection between faith and peace?
          Read Ephesians 2:11-16. With whom does Christ give us peace? How did He do it? Does this mean that our lives will be completely free of conflict when we obey the Lord?
          Read Romans 5:1-4. We have peace with God, but that does not mean we will be free of tribulation. The Lord told His apostles prior to His arrest and crucifixion, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). We, too, can have peace in Christ, regardless of what is happening around us. We need to keep our eyes on our ultimate goal: eternal life with God when this life is over.
          Read Romans 12:17-21. How are we to treat our enemies? Should a Christian seek revenge when he is wronged? Read Romans 12:18 again.
          Does this mean that we should be happy if we are at peace with others, but apathetic if we are not? What should be our attitude? Read Romans 14:19; 2 Timothy 2:22; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 3:11. If we are not actively seeking peace with others—even those in the world who are against us—then we are not fulfilling the Lord’s command.
          But there is another aspect to peace. Just as Christ came to make peace between God and man, we should also be spreading His message of peace with God. Read Matthew 5:9; Romans 10:15; Ephesians 6:14-15; James 3:18. A faithful Christian should be working to bring friends and family members into a peaceful relationship with the Almighty.
          James Burton Coffman wrote, “There are several ways in which God’s children can serve as peacemakers: (1) Through spiritual instruction, they can bring peace to hearts that are troubled. (2) They can bring peace to their fellow men who are at strife between or among themselves. (3) They can bring men, through preaching God’s word, or teaching it, to become reconciled to God, which is the greatest of all the achievements of the peacemaker. Definite procedures for the peacemakers are laid down in the Bible. A peacemaker conceals the transgression of others (see Proverbs 11:13); seeks a personal interview (Galatians 6:1); and tries to save ‘the face’ of the wrongdoer (2 Timothy 2:22-26). Such shall be called the sons of God because they are most like God in his efforts to reconcile man unto himself.”
          All of this talk about peace is great, but we need to make mention of Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:34: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” How does this fit with everything else we have studied so far? Consider the context; read Matthew 10:35-39.
          Accepting the word of the Lord can cause disagreements with those who refuse to hear or obey Him. What is more important? Peace with God is greater than peace with man, even family.
          Jesus died on the cross so that we, through His blood, might have peace with God. If we are to imitate Him, and “have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” we must tell others of the peace He offers. That is how we become peacemakers, and sow the fruit of righteousness in peace.

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