Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Jesus reached out to others. He healed the sick, healed the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak. He raised the dead and on and on goes the list. The message in Matthew 5:7–9 is about how we treat each other. Jesus said, therefore be merciful, even as your Father is also merciful (Luke 6:36).
The Greek word translated as “merciful” in Matthew 5:7 is used only twice in the New Testament. Here and in the book of Hebrews. Therefore, he was obligated (bound or obliged) in all things to be made like his brothers, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining (belonging to) God, to make atonement (to deliver mankind from sin and be brought into harmony with God) for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17). The One who made atonement for us was Jesus.
The Apostle Paul says, But God, being rich in mercy for his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses (sins), made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Ephesians 2:4–5). The word “grace” means “unmerited (undeserved) favour.”
John MacArthur says, “Love encompasses mercy. Mercy is a physician; love is a friend. Mercy responds to need; love acts out of affection. Mercy is reserved for times of trouble; love is constant. However, there is no mercy without love. God’s great love is poured out on our needs through His mercy. He will love us in eternity when we do not need mercy anymore. But for now, one way God shows His love for us is through His mercy.”
William Barclay says, “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. It denotes (it is a sign of) a sympathy that is not given… (it) comes from a deliberate identification with the other person, until we see things as he sees them, and feels things as he feels them.” Mercy does not mean that God’s mercy toward us depends upon us showing mercy to others.
When we show mercy to another person it doesn’t necessarily mean that the other person will show mercy to us. The Lord Jesus Christ was merciful, but some of the Romans and Jews worked together to kill Him. The reality is mercy is not a human quality or characteristic.
COMPASSION is a synonym (of like meaning) for MERCY
The Apostle Paul said God told Moses, I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion (Romans 9:15).
The Story of the Widow Who Lost Her Son (Luke 7:12–15). The circumstances of the widow whose son died were especially tragic. Her husband had already died. The death of her only son meant she was poverty-stricken. The foreseeable future looked bleak because she didn’t have any means of support. The Bible tells us, When Jesus saw her, He had compassion on her (v. 13a). Jesus said to her, “Don’t cry.” He came near and touched the coffin, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!” He who was dead sat up and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother (7:14b-15).
The Bible says, Fear took hold of all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us” (7:16)! But He was more than a prophet; Jesus is the Son of God. The One who had the power to raise the dead.
What is compassion? A person who is genuinely compassionate will help others in need regardless of the kind of person they may be. A person who is genuinely compassionate will not condemn others or think of themselves as superior to others.
FORGIVENESS is a synonym (of like meaning) for MERCY
The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus because she was caught in adultery. They said the Law of Moses said, the man who commits adultery with another man's wife… the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death (Leviticus 20:10). But the scribes and Pharisees did not bring the adulterer to Jesus. They brought the adulteress to Jesus to test Him. If Jesus had said the adulteress should be stoned to death, Jesus would have been in trouble with the Roman government. Only the Roman government had that authority. If Jesus had freed the woman caught in adultery the scribes and Pharisees could accuse Him of breaking the Mosaic Law. In John 8:7 the Bible says Jesus stooped down and wrote (something) on the ground with his finger… then He looked up and said to (the scribes and Pharisees) he who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her. There was another requirement of the Law. Any witness guilty of malicious intent was to be stoned to death instead (Deuteronomy 19:16–19). The scribes and Pharisees Being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning from the oldest, even to the last. Jesus was left alone with the woman. He said, Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you? She said, no one Lord. Jesus said, neither do I condemn you. Go your way. From now on, sin no more (John 8:9–10).
According to the law, a person could be put to death only with two or more witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15). But now there were no witnesses to condemn her to be stoned to death. Jesus could fully obey the Mosaic law and release the woman since there were no witnesses. I do not condemn you, either. As in this case, forgiveness always precedes the command to sin no more and forms its greatest motivation (The Moody Bible Commentary).
The New Testament demands if we want to be forgiven, we must be forgiving. For judgment is without mercy to him who has shown no mercy (James 2:13).
A certain king… wanted to reconcile accounts with his servants… one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents (in today’s world it may be billions of dollars) … because he couldn’t pay his lord commanded him to be sold (with his wife and children, etc.). The servant promised his lord he would repay the loan, but it was a promise he couldn’t keep. The lord was compassionate and forgave him of the debt. But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants, who owed him one hundred denarii (about 100 days’ wages). He grabbed him, and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe.’ When his lord found out what his servant did to a fellow servant his lord delivered him to the tormenters until he should pay all that was due to him (Read Matthew 18:23–34).
“Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors” … “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don't forgive men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6: 12, 14–15). Because God loves us, He is willing to forgive us “and bury our sins in the deepest sea.”
SYMPATHY is another synonym (of like meaning) for MERCY
In Matthew 5:7, the Greek word for “merciful” means “to feel sympathy with the misery of another” (W. E. Vine). It especially means to show sympathy with action. “Sympathy” is the ability to enter another person’s mental state. To feel compassion for somebody else who is suffering “It would make forgiveness, and it would make tolerance ever so much easier. There is one principle that we… often forget-there is always a reason why a person thinks and acts as he does, and if we knew that reason, it would be so much easier to understand and to sympathize and forgive… Jesus Christ, in the most literal sense, got inside the skin of men. He came as a man; he came seeing things with men's eyes, feeling things with men's feelings, and thinking things with men's minds. It is only those who show this mercy who will receive this mercy.” (William Barclay).
One day, when William R. Newell was on his way to teach one of his many Bible classes, he fell into deep thinking about what Calvary means. Whatever thoughts he came up with, he wrote them down on the back of an envelope when he reached an empty classroom. Those words became the lyrics to the beloved gospel song, “At Calvary.” When he met the Director of Music, he asked if he could put music to the words. He finished composing the tune while William Newell finished his class. They then sang the newly formed hymn, published in 1895.
Years I spent in vanity and pride, caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died On Calvary.
By God’s Word at last my sin, I learned; Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned To Calvary.
Now I have given to Jesus everything, Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing Of Calvary.
Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan! Oh, the grace that brought it down to man! Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span At Calvary.
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty At Calvary.
In Latin, “Calvary” means “Place of Skull.” It was the place where Jesus was crucified. Christians from around the globe visit this place to worship the One who gave His life on a Cross as a penalty for our sins. But He wasn't dead very long. Three days later, Jesus arose from the grave. His resurrection proved He has power over sin and death.
JESUS IS OUR MODEL OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE MERCIFUL
-All Scripture passages are based on the World English Bible (WEB)-
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