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Blessed Are the Merciful (Matthew 5:5).

In our daily meditations, we are looking closely at Jesus’ teaching of the attitudes of heart of those who walk with Christ in what’s commonly called The Sermon on the Mount. We now come to the four Beatitudes that point toward those around us. The thought behind this Beatitude is that once we come into a covenant relationship with God and begin to walk with Him, then God's gracious attitude toward others wells up within us. Believers in Christ have an inner desire to extend God's mercy to those around them. When we allow God's Spirit to lead and guide us, we are drawn to those who are hurting, those who have need of Him. We will feel compassion for people when they are going through painful circumstances.


This lesson was what Simon the Pharisee had to learn when the sinful woman came to the table and wept over Jesus' feet (Luke 7:36-49). Simon had no mercy for the sinful woman whose heart was touched by Jesus. The merciful person remembers the guilt and unhappiness he was once in and has the power within to extend God's mercy to others. Simon the Pharisee never felt the weight of guilt for his sin, so he could not feel compassion for the sinful woman. Jesus talked in terms of a love response to the woman’s debt of sin being forgiven.


People who feel thankful for being forgiven their sin debt let others off the hook when they sin against them. To let someone off the hook means to pardon, release, or allow one to escape from blame, responsibility, obligation, or difficulty. When believers live out this attitude before the world, it is unnatural to the world system in which we live. This is the way Jesus lived, and even as He was crucified, He extended mercy to those who nailed the spikes into His hands, praying, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).


God often puts His servants into a trial or test of their faith to see how they react to someone who has hurt them in the past. Is there still a desire within us to see them get the punishment they deserve for the way they have hurt us? Can we give grace and mercy to those who don't deserve it? Having received God's mercy in the test, God grades us according to how we behave toward others. Elsewhere, the Lord told a parable about this attitude of being merciful:


21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times! 23Because of this, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlements, a debtor was brought to him owing ten thousand talents. 25Since the man was unable to pay, the master ordered that he be sold to pay his debt, along with his wife and children and everything he owned. 26Then the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Have patience with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27His master had compassion on him, forgave his debt, and released him. 28But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ 29So his fellow servant fell down and begged him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you back.’ 30But he refused. Instead, he went and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay his debt. 31When his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and recounted all of this to their master. 32Then the master summoned him and declared, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave all your debt because you begged me. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had on you?’ 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should repay all that he owed. 35That is how My heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart” (Matthew 18:21-35).


Have you been emotionally hurt by your parents, friends, or spouse? Can you set them free from the justice you demand they should receive for the wrong done to you? Again, the word "they" in the Greek text is emphatic: Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy, meaning [they alone] shall obtain mercy. When we pardon another, we are also setting our souls free from the bondage of hurt and pain that unforgiveness holds over us. This is a spiritual principle that is as real as a physical principle, such as gravity. May you know the inner freedom that comes from being merciful to others. Keith Thomas


This meditation is from a more complete study found at the following link: The Beatitudes

The YouTube video is at the following link:


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