In the seventh beatitude Jesus pronounces a blessing on the peacemaker. Unlike the kingdoms of this world that are established by war and bloodshed, Jesus’ other-worldly kingdom is established by peace and is comprised of a peacemaking people. The English word “peace” usually refers to one of two things: inward tranquility – peace of mind or world peace – the absence of war. While the Classical Greek term eirene primarily refered to the absence of war, in the New Testament eirene incorporates the breadth of meaning conveyed by the Hebrew, “shalom,” which is much more comprehensive. While “peace” might be likened to a point on a line in two dimensions; “shalom” is like a sphere that encompasses relationships in every direction. Shalom describes reconciliation, enjoyment and prosperity in all dimensions – with God, our community, our surroundings, as well as ourselves. Peacemakers are reconcilers of man to God and man to man within their communities and in their world.
As we work to bring shalom or reconciliation of the world to God and to each other, we are doing God’s work; and therefore we resemble Him. We are called “sons of God,” because of the resemblance that peacemakers have to the Father, who on several occasions in the Scripture is called, “the God of peace.”