are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
#1-4 focused on our relationship with God and our dependence on him
#5-7 focus on our application of God’s gift in our lives
Bible describes God as merciful, but also as:
- The Judge
of the Earth
- A Rock
- A Ruler
whose Rule is like Iron
- The Solid
and non-debatable Truth
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.
ways of understanding Matthew 5:7:
– 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.
– 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.”
– 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.”
- 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.
with forgiveness, but broader
willingness to see from the other’s point of view
quick to be offended
- A state
of operation (character), not an occasional impulse
forgiveness for the guilty
compassion for the suffering and needy
be Shown” is a passive verb which indicates that this mercy we receive comes from
God and not others.
is a character of Jesus and his followers.
mercy is the state of operation. It is the character of the person.
is to be our first response and how we approach people and situations.
we operate from a state or character of mercy we do not focus on:
- 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.
- 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.
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
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.
verses to develop Matthew’s use of “mercy”:
9:13 – Hosea 6:6 (6:4-7)
12:3-8 – The practice of mercy/compassion is characteristic of God’s
people. The opposite is blind devotion to rituals void of meaning. The
Pharisees base of operation was judgment. They rushed first to condemn and
did not try to understand.
- Matthew 23:23
– mercy, justice, faithfulness
6:12-15 – the Lord’s prayer addresses this with forgiveness
18:21-35 – a parable