Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Matthew 5:7 ESV
I hope you have enjoyed going through the Beatitudes with me. In the first six verses, Jesus has taught us that it is about having a relationship with God than it is about keeping a bunch of rules. In the following few verses, we will see characteristics that can only come from a relationship we have with Him. In other words, these character qualities don’t come naturally to us, but they can be achieved if we allow God to work in our lives through the Holy Spirit.
The first of these is mercy. The Greek word used for mercy is eleḗmōn, and it translates as compassion. It is more than pity; it is the act of compassion. Doing something about someone’s need. There are plenty of examples in the Bible that show God’s mercy, even in the Old Testament. It was God’s compassion on the Hebrews that he freed them from the bondage of slavery in Egypt in the book of Exodus.
Jesus showed great compassion, and the book of Matthew mentions it in chapter fourteen verse fourteen, ”When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” Compassion is not only saying “I’m sorry for what is happening to you” but helps alleviate the trouble. For those who show mercy, it says that mercy will be shown to them.
It is no surprise that we see a lack of mercy these days. The farther society strays from God, the less we will see kindness in others. It can be discouraging for us, and we may tend to give up ourselves on showing compassion. In his second letter to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul wrote to not be discouraged but to continue to do good. He said, “And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.” 2 Thessalonians 3:13 (NIV). Neither should we tire of doing what is good. Showing compassion is what this world needs to see from us. It is what will bring the gospel to those who need it. And someday, we too will receive mercy.