Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy
Who are the merciful and what does this characteristic look like?
First, the merciful are those that have been shown mercy, they have obtained it by way of the progression of blessing brought about in the first 4 beatitudes. For in order to be merciful one must have already recognized his own sin and repented. He must be meek, having acknowledged to others that he is a sinner. He must hunger and thirst for righteousness which brings about compassion to others for they are sinners also.
Mercy is exhibited by Jesus Christ when he taught the poor, healed the sick, and had compassion for those who mourned and were troubled. He forgives all offenses. One who follows this example will do the same and to all of his fellow sinners, the merciful will long that they may be brought to know the savior and attempt to reach them and pray for them. He is considerate, kind and gentle to *all* mankind. God’s mercy extends to all men, so then should ours.
The blessing then in turn is that he will receive mercy himself from God. Luke 6:38 says Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Consider these verses:
Psalm 41:1 Blessed is he that considereth the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble
Matthew 6:14 – If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Mark 11:25 – and when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses
Hebrews 6:10 – For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister
James 2:13 – For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
Read the parable of the unmerciful debtor in Matthew 18:21-35
What is Peter’s motivation in asking Jesus this question in vs. 21?
In verses 23-35 we see two different attitudes or characteristics, the master’s (vs. 23- 27) and the servant’s (vs 28-34). What was the consequence of the servant’s actions?
How seriously should we take verse 35?
It is easier to understand mercy when you remember the times you have been shown mercy and forgiveness yourself. Meditate on the times that God has been merciful to you.
Pray for continual reflection of mercy which has been shown to you and pray for opportunities to show mercy to others.
© 2011 Debora P. Gilley