Sep 8 09

The Pacific Beatitude

vmsmith

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:9)

Our study today brings us to the Sermon on the Mount’s seventh beatitude. I have chosen the title “The Pacific Beatitude” for today’s message which may be somewhat confusing to many of you. The word pacific simply means “promoting peace.” It seems somewhat ironic that Ferdinand Magellan the great Portuguese explorer named the largest of the world’s oceans, “The Pacific Ocean,” meaning “the peaceful sea.” The mighty Pacific has claimed the lives of thousands, and many of the early explorers were never able to cross its expanse without losing their lives.

The world today can be compared to the Pacific Ocean because there are days when we can travel to the beaches near here and gaze out over the beautiful, serene, deep blue sea and whisper to each other, “How lovely, and how peaceful.” There is a quiet and a calm that can lull us into thinking that every day will be peaceful and calm. But those who sail the seas know far differently. There is no lasting peace on the sea. A peaceful day can very quickly turn into a raging storm.

Likewise, there is no lasting peace among the people of the earth. Politicians promise they can achieve it. Groups and committees are formed to promote it; nations join together in bodies like the League of Nations or the United Nations; but in the end, every peace that is forged breaks down into hatred and strife. It is simply not in the heart of man to be at peace because in all of us evil lurks. A storm is waiting to break out and given enough time, it always will. We can no more tame the human heart than we can stop the wind from making waves on the sea.

Why then does Jesus say, “Blessed are the peacemakers?” It seems He promises an unachievable blessing. Not really—for the one who is able to calm the seas is the one who can give a new heart. He can change our hearts through the gospel. Real peace will never come with the efforts of any Nobel peace prize winner or any human government. Only Christ can bring lasting peace. So, Jesus says “Blessed are the peacemakers.” These are those who herald the life changing, heart cleansing gospel of Christ. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”

Pastor V. Mark Smith