Summary: Our God is a merciful God, and expects those of us who have received his mercy to be merciful as well.
BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL
"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."
Are you a merciful person? Yet that is what our Lord Jesus Christ wants us to be. In Luke 6:36, our Lord said, "Therefore be mersiful, just as your Father is also merciful." Our God is a merciful God, and expects those of us who have received his mercy to be merciful as well.
Are you a merciful person?
To answer that question, we need to understand the meaning of mercy. Actually Jesus uses two words in the beautitude. One is an adjetive and the other is a verb.
I. MERCY IS AN ADJECTIVE
"Merciful" is an adjetive. It describes an attribute of something or someone. So it could be translated, "Blessed are the merciful ones." The word translated "Mercy" has its origins in a hebrew word "chesedth" which means "the ability to get right inside the other person, to see with his eyes, to think with his thoughts, to feel with his feelings.
ILLUSTRATION: The parable of the Good Samaritan is a beautiful example of a merciful person. (LUKE 10: 25-36) Note that the priest in the story completely ignored the injured man. (v. 31). The Levite came and looked at the injured man, before he passed by on the other side. At least he felt pity, but being a merciful person is more than pity, or even a compassionate feeling. A merciful person acts with compassion. The despised Samaritan, stopped, looked, and reached down to help. Jesus then asked the question. "So which of these three to you think was a neighbor to him who fell among the thieves." The lawyer replied, "He who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said, "Go and do likewise."
II. MERCY IS A VERB
"Mercy" is a verb which meens to feel sympathy with the misery of another person. Sympathy comes from two words which means "experiencing things together with." In this case it is in the passive voice which means, the "merciful ones" will be given even more mercy.
ILLUSTRATION: Gueen Victoria was a close friend of Principal and Mrs. Tulloch of St. Andrews. Prince Albert died and Queen Victoria was left alone. At the same time Principal Tulloch died. Queen Victoria came to call on Mrs. tulloch when she was resting on a couch in her room. When the Queen was announced Mrs. Tulloch struggled to rise quickly from the couch and curtsey. The Queen stepped forward and said, "My dear, don’t rise. I am not coming to you today as a queen to a subject, but as one woman who has lost her husband to another."
That is just what God did for us when he came to us as a man.
III. MERCY IS AN ATTRIBUTE.
A. Mercy is an attribute of God. However, we must remember that God is also holy, righteous, and just. It does not mean that God casually overlooks our sin. It does not mean he winks at sin.
It does mean that God in his love and grace comes to us and deals with us in our misery caused by our sin.
EPHESIANS 2:4-5: "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved.)"
B. Mercy is an attribute of Jesus Christ. He showed his mercy to Peter who denied him. Jesus, knowing Peter would deny him said, "Simon, Simon! indeed, Satan has asked for you that he may sift you as whent. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail: and whin you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren."
Jesus showed mercy to those who crucified him when he prayed, "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing."
He showed mercy to us when he took our sins upon himself.
C. Mercy is an attribute of those who have received mercy. T. W. Hunt describes the merciful person in this way He says that the merciful person is "caring, forgiving, compassionate, gracious, benevolent, forbearing, charitable.
The opposite: "vindictive, spiteful, unforgiving, unmerciful, revengeful, malicious."
ILLUSTRATION: "The Unmerciful Servant" (Matt. 18:21-35). He was in debt and about to be punished for not paying. He pleaded for mercy and got it. However someone owed him as well. He demanded payment, was begged for forgiveness, refused to show mercy. The reality is he never really understood what mercy was all about.
God wants those of us who have received mercy to show mercy to others.
CONCLUSION: Mercy is our greatest need. Often people demand justice. They demand their rights. However, if we got exactly what we deserved, we would already be in hell. However loves us in spite of our sins and has provided for us the remedy for our sins. He has provided a way out of the misery caused by our sins. He sent his only Son to go to the cross for our sins, and made it possible for us to pass from spiritual death, to life in Jesus Christ.