Blessed “Be” attitudes :: Be Merciful

Matthew 5:3-12 lists eight Beatitudes that were spoken of by Jesus. Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

To be blessed, one must have an attitude of being merciful.

According to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, mercy is compassion or forbearance shown to an offender or to someone who is under one’s power. In other words, mercy is the attitude and act of forgiving because of one’s love/compassion. The Bible says that all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). In other words, all are sinners and while we were still offenders (sinners), Christ died (showed mercy) for us (Romans 5:8). In fact, God does not desire even in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:23-32), but he wills that all be called to repentance and that none perish (2 Peter 3:9). Jesus is most merciful of all, and all who believe in Him receive his mercy for he stands in the gap for them and stays the wrath of God from them. But the cycle of mercy does not end in mere receipt. All who have received mercy are expected to give the same. We learn this from the parable of the unmerciful servant (Matthew 18:21-35). In fact, interestingly, this beatitude establishes the same fact, that the merciful obtain mercy.

Richard Chenevix Trench, in his work, Notes on the Parables of  our Lord eloquently puts “The Christian stands in a middle point, between a mercy received and a mercy which he yet needs to receive.” Those who have received the mercy of God, must be merciful, so they shall be blessed in obtaining mercy (yet to be received). To be forgiven, we must forgive according to Jesus who taught us this fact in the prayer saying, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” In other words, this can be rendered as “Show mercy on us and hold not our debts against us, as we show mercy on those who have offended us.”

We must forgive because we have been forgiven, but we must forgive to be forgiven as well.
We must show mercy, because we have been shown mercy, but we must show mercy to be shown mercy as well. We stand in the middle point. The cycle of mercy is as follows:  Mercy received, Mercy give, Mercy receive.

Matthew 5:7 (KJV)
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Matthew 18:33 (KJV)
33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?