My Journey Through the Sermon on the Mount
We're at a turning point in our beatitudes. The first 3 beatitudes have to do with me, my heart. Looking at my position of lowliness before the Most High God.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
The 4th beatitude has to do with God and His kind of life. How I will live in response to inheriting the Kingdom. Seeking His righteousness.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for His righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."
The last 3 beatitudes have to do with relationships, with me and how I relate to others. Let's look at verse 7, specifically on that word "mercy".
"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy."
Once we are in Christ, we are to be merciful to others. To see them as those who are helpless and guilty. Of all the peoples in this world, we should be the most merciful for we have received the most mercy from the most loving God.
"The merciful extend mercy to others, thus demonstrating God’s mercy which has been extended to them." (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Mt 5:1–12). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.)
"Mercifulness, then, is a gracious disposition toward our fellow creatures and fellow Christians. It is a spirit of kindness and benevolence which sympathizes with the sufferings of the afflicted, so that we weep with those that weep." (Pink, A.W. (2011-06-28). An Exposition of The Sermon on The Mount (Kindle Locations 508-509). Unknown. Kindle Edition.)
Remember Jesus response to the people? "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." (Matthew 9:36)
He was not frustrated that others did not understand. He was not angered that they were not perfect. He didn't picket their nightclubs or yell hateful things. He didn't look down his nose at them, he didn't turn them away, shun them, or isolate from them. He saw them and had compassion.
Or as my wise teacher once said, He recognized "They were not the enemy, they were victims of the enemy." We are to extend mercy, to show grace and compassion, for others. We are to offer Christ and pray that they receive relationship with the Father of Mercy.
As an act of gratitude for receiving mercy from our sovereign LORD, we are to share that mercy with others. It is the only response for being saturated in this gift of mercy . . . pouring it out onto others.
"Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful." (Luke 6:36)