Matthew 5:7

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”


Beatitudes #1-4 focused on our relationship with God and our dependence on him

Beatitudes #5-7 focus on our application of God’s gift in our lives


The Bible describes God as merciful, but also as:

Mercy is the base of God’s operation and dealings with man, but he will also judge, consume, crush, rule and hold to his unchanging Word.


Four ways of understanding Matthew 5:7:

  1. Meritorious – it could be said, but I do not think this is the point, that Matthew 5:7 is saying we must be merciful to people before God is merciful to us.
  2. Response – it could be that our response to general revelation as in Romans 2:6-8, “To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.”
  3. Principle – the principle of sowing and reaping may be involved here. Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
  4. Result – because of God’s character, God’s mercy to us, and God’s work in our lives we now have the ability, the example, the expectation of approaching others with mercy. 1 John 4:19, “We love because he first loved us.” This would also be true of mercy.


Mercy is:


“Will be Shown” is a passive verb which indicates that this mercy we receive  comes from God and not others.


Mercy is a character of Jesus and his followers.

This mercy is the state of operation. It is the character of the person.

It is to be our first response and how we approach people and situations.

When we operate from a state or character of mercy we do not focus on:

  1. We do not focus on the object receiving the mercy. We do not base our mercy on the person, but on our nature and attitude.
  2. We do not focus on the situation calling forth mercy. We do not look at the circumstances and decide if mercy is deserved, but instead, our nature approaches every circumstances with mercy.


The rejection of mercy may require that we take some other form of action. Mercy can be rejected by rebellion, abuse, mockery, manipulation, etc. We always approach a situation in mercy, but we may not stay in that state if our mercy is rejected.


Ultimately Jesus is talking about those who have received God’s forgiveness and are now living it out towards others. We are the ones who are to be merciful.


Key verses to develop Matthew’s use of “mercy”: