Blessed are the Merciful

Mercy is a quality that you don't see much of in today's day and age. The news is full of violence, crime, and tragedy because that's what happens on a day to day basis.

But the world does recognize and even praise the acts of mercy that do happen. It's the mother who carries her baby to term despite the endangerment to her own life, the brother who gives up his kidney for his little sister who would die without that transplant, the man who jumps in front of the bullet that was headed for a helpless child - people look at these acts, as rare as they really are, and acknowledge the greatness and selflessness exhibited.

Even though it's recognized as a great thing, people don't want to step outside of themselves to live in a merciful way. Rarely to people want to take the chance to have mercy on someone when the opportunity arises, because showing someone mercy takes quite a bit of selflessness.

William Barclay's Daily Study Bible commentary on Matthew states regarding this word:
It does not mean only to sympathize with a person in the popular sense of the term; it does not mean simply to feel sorry for some in trouble. Chesedh[sic], mercy, means the ability to get right inside the other person's skin until we can see things with his eyes, think things with his mind, and feel things with his feelings.
Clearly this is much more than an emotional wave of pity; clearly this demands a quite deliberate effort of the mind and of the will. It denotes a sympathy which is not given, as it were, from outside, but which comes from a deliberate identification with the other person, until we see things as he sees them, and feel things as he feels them. This is sympathy in the literal sense of the word. Sympathy is derived from two Greek words, syn which means together with, and paschein which means to experience or to suffer.Sympathy means experiencing things together with the other person,literally going through what he is going through. (p. 103)

How many times have you gotten into a conflict, or someone has done you wrong, and you stopped midst the emotions that were raging, and stepped back from the situation, and looked at how the other person would be feeling?

I also think about Jesus' response to the Pharisees. Now you have to understand that these people were the top leaders in the religious system, people revered these people for how holy and godly they were.

And Jesus says, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone."

These men were paying tithes on their SPICES... talk about commitment. They were following their interpretation of the law to the fullest. But they focused on the outside, do's and don't-'s instead of the harder parts of the law. Mercy is an important spiritual characteristic to have!

I also think of the mercy that Christ showed to us! He literally put Himself into our shoes, He came and took the form of human flesh, and lived a perfect and sinless life, so that we could have eternal life. He understands the struggles that we face, the temptations that come our way, the hardships of life that seem to overwhelm us. And He has mercy on us. We deserve to die in our sins, and spend eternity in Hell for the consequences of our sins. But God had mercy on us, and He isn't giving us what we deserve. 
 But do we fall into this trap?

 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

After we have been pardoned, after God has shown us mercy, do we turn around to our fellow man who has wronged us in a minute way, and expect them to pay the price?
Where would the world be today if God had that attitude toward mankind? We would be living a meaninless existence without any hope for the future. I'm thankful that Christ was merciful toward me, and that I can turn around and show that to someone else!

"Blessed are the merciful"

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