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The Beatitudes – Part 5

The Fifth Beatitude: Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.

To be merciful means to feel genuine and heartfelt compassion. Every Saint of God should be merciful toward others because they have themselves received this genuine compassion from Jesus Christ. Romans 5:8 (KJV) says
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Because of the sin debt that Jesus paid for us, we should be able to see the world through another person’s eyes and show that person mercy.

According to Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the fifth beatitude, we should “be inclined to pity, help, and comfort those who are in misery, for we must bear the afflictions of our brethren. We should show compassion for the souls of others and help them; pity for the ignorant and instruct them; mercy on the careless and warn them; and for those who are in a state of sin, snatch them as brands out of the burning”.

In Col. 3:12, we are told to put on bowels of mercy.

12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies… 

In today’s vernacular, we might express “putting on bowels of mercies” as “feeling it in our gut.” Both expressions mean to feel strong, deep and intense emotions for the experiences and needs of another.   As fellow human beings, we should be able to imagine ourselves in another person’s situation and react or respond accordingly, particularly those of us who are chosen by God and are secure in His love.

Another way of thinking about mercy is when we did not receive punishment for something we should have been punished for. Many may be able to look back and see the mercy of God at work in their lives when they should have gone to jail but didn’t; should have gotten pregnant while unmarried, but didn’t; or should have been killed but survived. Some might even think that they “just dodged the bullet” or were “lucky.” But the answer is, “No sir or no ma’am!” That was just God’s mercy towards you. With God having shown such mercy in our lives, what hinders us from doing likewise towards others?

The Fifth Beatitude lets us know that if we are merciful, then mercy will be available for us. This phrase is very important because none of us knows what awaits us in the future. We never know when we will again need the mercy of God to be extended towards us. Showing mercy towards another is like putting mercy into a savings account for one’s self.; hopefully, it will not be needed, but if it is needed, it will be there.  Be merciful and be blessed.