Make Peace: When Jesus started this teaching on the mountainside He said if you are a peacemaker you are blessed and you will be called a son or daughter of God (Matthew 5:9). *Photo supplied
Make Peace: When Jesus started this teaching on the mountainside He said if you are a peacemaker you are blessed and you will be called a son or daughter of God (Matthew 5:9). *Photo supplied
We have been studying the profound teachings of the Sermon on the Mount over the last few weeks. 

The event took place on a hillside near the Sea of Galilee during the early part of Jesus’ earthly ministry.

People travelled from the north, south, east and west and assembled on the mountainside to listen to Jesus. 

The diversity of the population made no difference because they were all on common ground … they were open and in need of a real relationship with Jesus Christ …  just like us. Let’s read the following passage that was taught by Jesus on this mountain by the Sea of Galilee found in Matthew 5:25, 26: Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”

Jesus encourages us that if we should ever find ourselves in a disagreement with another person then we should seek to make peace as soon as possible, especially if you are a Christian.

This is hardly practised today. What usually happens is that we have a disagreement with someone, which usually is rooted in a misunderstanding; then, the disagreement escalates into a spat.

Rather than seeking to bring about reconciliation, many ratchet the situation up by fighting for their cause in order to prove they are right.

Jesus’ advice to us in this passage is that we should confront the matter civilly in order to settle it rather than having it settled in court.

 If the matter does enter the legal system and if you are found guilty (as the context seems to imply that you may very well be at fault) you will be bound to pay back your penalty in full. 

We should not take advantage of one another to see what we can get out of various situations; we should rather seek reconciliation. 

If the court does hand down a sentence, your opportunity for reconciliation is gone: once a sentence is given you have to do the time. 

Notice that in Jesus’ day anyone who was placed in prison had to actually work off the debt that was owed.

Not a bad practice for any prison system.

The Bible has a great emphasis on being a peacemaker.

In fact, when it comes to all of our problems it is imperative that we look at the big picture rather than go on a rampage to prove our point. 

This is true in any relationship whether it be at work, home, marriage or even the church.

God encourages us to do all we possible can to maintain unity. Let’s remember the following passage:

Colossians 3:13,14: Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.

Unfortunately, reconciliation and striving for unity is often disregarded when it is our turn to be in a disagreement, particularly when there may be legitimate hurt surrounding the issue. 

It takes great maturity to progress past the hurt of our experiences and work towards unity.

We must remember Jesus’ words the next time we are confronted with a potentially volatile situation.

Focus on being a peacemaker!

After all, when Jesus started this teaching on the mountainside He said if you are a peacemaker you are blessed and you will be called a son or daughter of God (Matthew 5:9).