Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
We witness a progression in the Beatitudes—the believer understands his or her spiritual poverty before God, grieves over the sin that separates him or her from God, humbly follows God’s instructions and teaching, and possesses a strong desire to know and be known by Him. When this happens, mercy is a natural result. Because God has shown mercy to the believer, the believer naturally becomes merciful.
Our modern tendency when reading this verse would be to approach it with an, “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” approach. However, that is not what Jesus meant. We don’t give mercy to receive mercy. We are merciful because God is merciful, and we want to be like Him. Growing followers of Christ should want to be like Christ. We work for the object of our faith, not the reward of our faith—even though the two are interconnected. Mercy flows through the merciful, and they receive the mercy of God.
Remember that these are basic descriptors of Christians. All followers of Jesus are called to be merciful, not just a select few gifted with mercy. Mercy comes to us through Christ as a product of our relationship with Him.
- Why is mercy a characteristic of a true follower of Christ?
- In what sense have we all been shown mercy?
- Pray that you would seek to be merciful as Christ is merciful.