Cultural Jesus · Interpretation · Understanding

What Jesus Probably Didn’t Mean – Matthew 5:9

I admit it it – I am Canadian by birth.

I am thankful for my Canadian heritage. As I grew up in the Great White North, I assumed many social norms as being absolutely without debate, the way it should be.

One of these social norms, that carried with it a certain nationalistic pride, was the Canadian armed forces . It was commonly understood that the Canadian armed forces were principally a peace keeping force throughout troubled areas of our planet.

Making Peace for Our Benefit

Fast forward to 2001. I had moved to the USA and was living in a small town in the Texas panhandle. The towers had just fallen and the church I was attending had a special meeting to hear what the President had to say about this. The nation I was living in was going to hunt all terrorists down. The populace demanded peace and security. I felt the national pride oozing out of my friends and understood their desire for defending their nation.

But, as a Christian, I was confused. I had been brought up within a peace keeping society, and was now I lived in a nation that has been involved in warfare for 214 of 235 yrs of existence. (see bottom of post for further information)

Peace Keeper or Peace Maker

Imagine my surprise when I read the Masters words (without the group dynamic of believers cheering on a social norm). His words are simple and incredibly challenging, not only for a believer in America, but also for a Canadian believer. You see, He didn’t say…

Blessed are the peacekeepers: for they shall be called the children of God. Nope – nice try but that’s not what He said.

Lets read what He said

Matthew 5:9

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Believers are to make peace. Being a peace keeper or at least being associated as one, was not His intent.

Some may say that His intent was only to direct the believer in their personal relationships, foster peace among friends, but this seems to unnecessarily compartmentalized His words, dontcha think?

Maybe He meant “Blessed are the peacemakers (cept for situations where the enemy has done something bad)”.

Duh, that don’t make no sense. It’s easy, even pleasurable to be at peace with those who at peace with you.

It is important to remember that as believers we have become followers of another King, and that any time a conflict between an earthly king and our Heavenly King becomes apparent, we must follow Him. When the nation we live in decides to pursue military action, as believers we have the privilege of praying for the safety of all those involved, and relieving those who have suffered due to the conflict.

Do we have the freedom to kill or hurt?

Matthew 5: 9

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

As an aside, consider the list “American involvement in warfare” at the bottom of the post, and reflect on the effectiveness of using violence to engender enduring peace.

Of course, Jesus was speaking to His followers when He gave these instructions, and not to government power.

Government power ultimately used violence/war to shut Him up.

Follow Considering the Bible on

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

American involvement in warfare

  1. The American Revolution
  2. The Indian Wars
  3. Shay’s Rebellion
    Anti-(state)Government Rebels vs. Massachusetts
  4. The Whiskey Rebellion
    Anti-Tax Rebels in Western Pennsylvania
  5. Quasi-War With France
    Inter-State (Naval) War
  6. Fries’s Rebellion “The Hot Water War”
    Anti-Tax Rebels in Pennsylvania
  7. The Barbary Wars
    Inter-State War
    The Barbary States
    (Tripoli, Algiers & Morocco)
  8. The War of 1812
    Inter-State War
    Great Britain
    The Growing & Troubled Republic
  9. Mexican-American War
    Inter-State War
  10. U.S. Slave Rebellions
    Slave Rebellions
    Various Slave groups
  11. “Bleeding Kansas”
    Civil War (state of Kansas)
    Pro-Slavery vs. Anti-Slavery Kansans
  12. Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry
    Anti-Slavery Rebels (Led by John Brown)
  13. United States Civil War
    Civil War
    United States (The North)
    The Confederate States (The South)
  14. U.S. Intervention in Hawaiian Revolution
    Internal Rebellion & Foreign Intervention
  15. The Spanish-American War
    Inter-State War
  16. U.S. Intervention in Samoan Civil War
    Civil War & Foreign Intervention
  17. U.S.-Philippine War
    Colonial War, War of Imperialism
  18. Boxer Rebellion
    Internal Rebellion & Foreign Intervention
    Chinese Government & “Boxer” Rebels
  19. The Moro Wars
    Colonial Wars
    Philippine Muslim Rebels
  20. U.S. Intervention in Panamanian Revolution
    Secessionist Revolution & Foreign Intervention
  21. The Banana Wars
    Civil Wars & Foreign Intervention
    Various Rebel Groups In Central America
  22. U.S. Occupation of Vera Cruz
    Inter-State War
  23. Pershing’s Raid Into Mexico
    Inter-State, Border War
    Mexican Government & Mexican Rebels (“Bandits”)
  24. World War I
    1917-1918 (American involvement only)
    Inter-State War
  25. Allied Intervention in Russian Civil War
    Civil War & Foreign Intervention
    Russian Bolshevik (Soviet) Government
  26. World War II
    1941-1945 (American involvement only)
    Inter-State War
    Germany, Japan & Italy
  27. The Cold War
    Global Inter-State Cold War
    The Soviet Union & Communist China
  28. The Korean War
    Inter-State War
    North Korea & China
  29. The Second Indochina War “Vietnam War”
    Civil War, Inter-State War
    North Vietnam & South Vietnamese “Viet Cong” Rebels
  30. U.S. Intervention in Lebanon
    Civil War & Foreign Intervention
    No real foe for U.S. Troops landed to support Lebanon Gov.
  31. Dominican Intervention
    Civil War & Foreign Intervention
    Rebels in the Dominican Republic
  32. The Mayaguez Rescue Operation
  33. News Story 1975 (May 15)
    Hostage Rescue & Inter-State Conflict
    Khmer Rouge Guerrillas (the new government of Cambodia)
  34. Iranian Hostage Rescue “Desert One” or “Operation Eagle Claw”
    1980 (April 25)
    Hostage Rescue & Inter-State Conflict
  35. U.S. Libya Conflict
    1981, 1986
    Inter-State War
  36. U.S. Intervention in Lebanon
    Civil War,Foreign Intervention & Inter-State War
    Syria & Various Muslim and Leftist Lebanese Militias
  37. U.S. Invasion of Grenada
    Inter-State War
    Marxist Grenadian Faction & Cuba
  38. The Tanker War
  39. “Operation Earnest Will”
    Inter-State War
  40. U.S. Invasion of Panama
    Inter-State War
  41. Second Persian Gulf War “Operation Desert Storm”
    Inter-State War
  42. “No-Fly Zone” War
    Inter-State War
  43. U.S. Intervention in Somalia
    Civil War & Foreign Intervention
    Various Somali Militias
  44. NATO Intervention in Bosnia (Operation Deliberate Force) Summary
    Civil War,Foreign Intervention & Inter-State War
    Bosnian Serb Rebels
  45. U.S. Occupation of Haiti
    Foreign Intervention
    Haitian Government
  46. U.S. Embassy bombings and strikes on Afghanistan and Sudan (The bin Laden War)
    August, 1998
    Terrorist Conflict
  47. “Desert Fox” Campaign (part of U.S./Iraq Conflict)
    December, 1998
    Inter-State War
  48. Kosovo War
    Civil War, Foreign Intervention & Inter-State War
  49. Attack on the USS Cole
    October 12, 2000
    Terrorist Conflict
    Terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden
  50. Attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon
    September 11, 2001
    Terrorist Conflict
    Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida organization
  51. Afghanistan War (Operation Enduring Freedom)
    October 7, 2001-Present
    War against Terrorism
    The Taliban and Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaida organization
  52. Third Persian Gulf War “Operation Iraqi Freedom”
    March 19, 2003-Present
    Inter-State War

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