Mmmh, there is such a lot in this little beatitude:
Blessed at the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.Matthew 5:7
Let us have a look first of all what the word Mercy actually means, it is such a small word, but it contains so much. Mercy – it has overtones of forgiveness and grace, but also of God’s judgment, that God doesn’t give us the judgement we deserve.
So as sinners, we are separated from God, we deserve His wrath, His judgment, His punishment, we deserve no less than this because we have gone our own sinful way, away from Him. But God sent Jesus to take our sin, take our punishment so that we can have a way back to Him. We don’t deserve it, but God in His mercy does not give us what we deserve, but rather in love chooses to forgive, chooses to draw us near, chooses to give us the blessings we don’t deserve (grace).
That is pretty awesome!
But what is hard in this beatitude is that He is telling us that we are to treat others like that too! We are to forgive, we are to accept even when others don’t deserve it, even if they have hurt us, even when they have sinned against us. We are to forgive, even if/when they don’t deserve it. Jesus is saying; this is the way God has treated you, now go and do likewise!
This is a parable Jesus told to illustrate this point:
“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 bags of gold 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 “At this 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 silver coins. 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 it 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 outraged 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 handed 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 or sister from your heart.”MATTHEW 18: 23-35
Go and do likewise.
For they shall receive mercy – we have received it, we then give it and we receive it back again every single day when God wipes our slate clean and gives us a brand new day.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.Lamentations 3: 22-23
Everyday we get to start again, we get to experience anew God’s mercies, His love, His kindness, His compassion, His grace.
Every day, God wipes the slate clean and we have a fresh start with Him, He doesn’t hold our yesterdays against us, neither should we hold them against ourselves, but move, gratefully into each new day, assured of His mercy and grace.