We continue looking at The Beatitudes this week with Jesus’ words:
“God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7, NLT)
Mercy can be defined as “a blessing that is an act of divine favor of compassion; the withholding of the punishment or judgment our sins deserve” (from The NLT Study Bible Dictionary).
At the heart of mercy is forgiveness. It is often confused with grace and the two are very much interwoven. Grace is a gift we don’t deserve, while mercy is not getting the punishment or judgment we did deserve.
The way we most often become merciful people is when we truly recognize the magnitude of the mercy we ourselves have received. It could be said that receiving mercy helps to mold us into being people of mercy.
Mercy seeks to alleviate suffering and moves us to be a people of compassion. No better example of this than in a story told by Jesus Himself in Luke 10.
Jesus, in talking with a religious expert, shares a parable of a Jewish man beaten and robbed while traveling. Stripped of his clothes and wounded, he is left on the side of the road, half dead.
A priest, traveling the same road, crosses to the other side to pass by the man. A Levite also does the same when he sees the man.
But a third man, a Samaritan, took pity on this man. He went to him, bandaged his wounds using oil and wine, and put him on his donkey. He brought him to an inn, where he continued to take care of him. When having to resume his own travels, he leaves money and asks the innkeeper to look after him.
Jews and Samaritans hated each other. No Jew would ever have expected to receive help from a Samaritan; and probably no Samaritan ever thought he would help a Jew who was wounded. The feelings were mutual.
Yet upon finishing His story, Jesus asks a question of the religious expert:
“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” (Luke 10:36, NLT).Â
The answer is interesting as he replied, “The one who showed him mercy” (verse 37).
Won’t you join me at Woman to Woman Ministries HERE as we continue to look at this quality of mercy and the impact it should have on our lives.