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Summary: Being merciful is one of the eight qualities of character of a citizen of the Kingdom of God that Jesus declares in the greatest sermon ever preached, the Sermon on the Mount. Those who are merciful will be shown mercy.

This message is an edited version of a sermon given at Loving God Fellowship. Copyright © 2007 Loving God Fellowship, Inc. http://www.LovingGodFellowship.org . You are encouraged to share this message with those you know that are hungry for God’s Word.

The Merciful

The Greatest Sermon Ever Preached Series

By Greg Johnson

Matthew 5:7

Jesus said (Matthew 5:7 NIV) "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."

Being merciful is one of the eight qualities of character of a citizen of the Kingdom of God that Jesus declares in the greatest sermon ever preached, the Sermon on the Mount. Those who are merciful will be shown mercy.


To better understand mercy let me tell you about Oseola McCarty. Oseola was born in Wayne County, Mississippi in 1908 and moved to Hattiesburg, Mississippi as a child. When she was in the sixth grade, her aunt, who had no children of her own, became ill and Oseola quit school to provide homecare for her Aunt. Oseola was never able to return to school for any more education. To support herself the rest of her life, she washed and ironed other people’s clothes. She never married nor had children. Her grandmother died in 1944, her mother in 1964 and her aunt in 1967. McCarty died from cancer in 1999.

Throughout her life Oseola never owned a car. She walked everywhere she went. She would push a grocery cart nearly a mile to get groceries. In 1947, her uncle gave her a house where she lived until she died.

Oseola lived a meager, uneducated life, but she new what it meant to be merciful. In 1995, with the help of a local attorney (for whom she had done laundry) and her bank’s trust officer she set aside 10% of her life savings for her church, 10% each for three relatives, and the remaining 60% for the University of Southern Mississippi to provide scholarships for deserving students in financial need. The amount given to the University for Scholarships was $150,000. Oseola new what mercy was and it flowed out of her life. "I can’t do everything," she said, "but I can do something to help somebody. And what I can do I will do. I wish I could do more."

Mercy is compassion for people in need. Compassion is a love that compels one to act. Oseola was merciful and, although she has finished the race, her mercy will help others for years to come.

Jesus was constantly showing mercy. He fed hungry multitudes with not only His Word, but also with bread and fish. He ministered at the point of need to people that were poor and had physical disabilities and sicknesses. He spent His valuable time befriending people that no one else wanted anything to do with. He spent His life helping people in need live a better life.

Jesus greatest act of mercy was on the cross. On an old rugged cross, Jesus freely gave His life because we are a needy people and our greatest need is forgiveness of sin. On the cross, Christ took our punishment for our sin upon Himself. He stood in for us. He had mercy on us a needy people. He moved with compassion; a love for us that compelled Him to do something about our sin problem. Through His mercy for us on the cross, we have been set free from the bondage of sin! Praise his name!

Followers of Christ have been shown mercy. They live their life showing mercy. Mercy is a part of their character.

What happens to the unmerciful? Jesus gave us the parable of the unmerciful servant. Jesus said (Matthew 18:23-35 NIV) ""Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. {24} As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. {25} Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. {26} "The servant fell on his knees before him. ’Be patient with me,’ he begged, ’and I will pay back everything.’ {27} The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. {28} "But 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. ’Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. {29} "His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ’Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ {30} "But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. {31} When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. {32} "Then the master called the servant in. ’You wicked servant,’ he said, ’I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. {33} Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ {34} In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. {35} "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.""

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