Summary: As we receive mercy from God, he expects us to show mercy to others and as we do that then God in his faithfulness gives us even more mercy.
Sermon-Matt. 5:7-The Road to Happiness: Meekness
Intro: My name is Earl-show about karma, do good things and good things will happen to you.
Many people misunderstand this passage as saying that type of thing.
Read Matt. 5:7
Today help us understand that as we receive mercy from God, he expects us to show mercy to others and as we do that then God in his faithfulness gives us even more mercy.
Come to a transition point in the Beatitudes.
Each of the first 4 had to do with the our heart and mind, what goes on on the inside, how we see ourselves before Goed, we now shift to the last 4 each of which deal more directly with the outworking of those things, how we act in obedience and submission to God.
Start with a little review
Blessed-blessed/happy/fortunate all at the same time.
Here Christ is saying that when we live the holy/consecrated/set apart life that He is calling us to, then and only then will we experience the happiness and contentment that God created us to enjoy. The Bible teaches us that holiness is the source of peace, satisfaction and contentment-all that we include in our word happy.
But once again-and this is where it all starts in verse 3-it is impossible for any one of us to live this life-a holy life that Christ has called us to live- on our own.
II. Mercy-definition from Websters Dictionary
mer•cy \ˈmər-sç\ noun
1: compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power; also : lenient or compassionate treatment "begged for mercy"
3 : compassionate treatment of those in distress
synonymy MERCY, CHARITY, CLEMENCY, GRACE, LENIENCY mean a disposition to show kindness or compassion. MERCY implies compassion that forbears punishing even when justice demands it
In the first century Roman culture, mercy was not viewed as a virtue, it was seen as a sign of weakness. One Roman philosopher called mercy “a disease of the soul”. To them mercy was a sign that you did not have what it takes to be a real man and especially a real Roman. They glorified courage, justice, discipline, and absolute power. They looked down on mercy because they saw it as weakness, and weakness was despised above all other human limitations. So mercy was hard to find in that day and age.
A few examples to give you and idea of how hard it was to find mercy back then. For much of the history of the Roman empire a father had the right of patria opitestas, of deciding whether or not his newborn child would live or die. As the infant was held up for him to see, the father would turn his thumb up if he wanted the child to live, down if he wanted the child to die. If his thumb turned down the child was immediately drowned.
-Citizens had the same life-or-death power over slaves. At any time and for any reason they could kill and bury a slave, with no fear of arrest or reprisal.
-Husbands could even have their wives put to death on the least provocation. This was the society of the day, mercy was not common.
But then came Christ. He demonstrated mercy to everyone, He was mercy incarnate, just as He was love incarnate.
Examples of Christ’s mercy:
Lk. 4:40-healing the sick
Lk. 7:11-15-Stops funeral procession and raises widows son from the dead
Vs. 13 “When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said “don’t cry”
John 8-The woman caught in adultery, brought by the religious leaders, using her to try and trap Christ, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” The left one by one.
Finally when they had all left, and only Christ was there, the only one who was without sin, He said “Woman, where are they? Has one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you, and from now on sin no more.”
Mk.2:15-17- “And as he reclined at the table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for ther were many who followed Him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples “why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” and when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
But the more Jesus showed mercy to men, the more they hated Him and were determined to put Him out of the way. The ultimate out come of His mercy was the cross.