The closest followers of Jesus heard Him say these words one day . . .
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Matthew 5:7
Jesus had gone up on the mountain, taken his seat, and opened his mouth.
We today get to hear the “inside scoop” the disciples heard on that glorious day Jesus spoke the words we call the Sermon on the Mount. These were the words spoken to His most precious followers.
We would do ourselves a great service to pay attention to the teaching of Jesus so we can get some “inside scoop” for our inside
- our heart
- our will
- our mind
so it will change how we do things.
Merciful is not a word we tend to use a lot. Compassion would be a more user-friendly version of the word compassion. some other words that we could use to explain merciful
sorrow * sympathy * care * kindness * charity * benevolence * tenderness * softness * feeling sad * consideration
Compassion or mercy is a good thing and something we all need . . . especially from God. We all need mercy, compassion, care, benevolence, love. We want softness from others and especially from God.
Jesus told his closest followers how they could get softness from God, how they could be blessed with the compassion of God.
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Psalm 103:8
With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless man you show yourself blameless. Psalm 18:25
Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him. Psalm 41:1
Let’s look at a parable Jesus told one day to explain compassion. Jesus told this story one day when a man asked him a question about how to inherit eternal life. Jesus answered the man’s question with this story. The story told about a man who showed mercy himself as a neighbor to a stranger because the man had compassion.
Let’s look at this parable teach us what it means to be compassionate or merciful to others. When we are merciful to others we show we love them. Being compassionate means we are showing we love others.
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” Luke 10:25-37
Jesus told those listening, “Go and do likewise”. When we show compassion to others we are being a neighbor to them . . . AND WE ARE BLESSED.
It makes us happy, blessed to show mercy to others because when we show mercy to others, God will show mercy to us.
Do you want God’s compassion, His mercy? I sure do and want Him to be soft and gentle to me. I want his kindness to be shown to me. I think you do too!
Jesus told His followers, his closest disciples that if they want to be shown compassion they must show compassion. They must have let the kindness of God received in them to shine though them to others. That’s what it means – those who are merciful will be shown mercy.
Let us hear afresh the words of Jesus. Let these words instruct us. Let’s hear the words of the parable that tells us of the man who reached out to a stranger, someone different than him, lower than him, unlike him, and gave of his time, abilities, and resources to help.
That’s what Jesus did for us. We were dead in our sins. God gave of His time to come to earth in the form of a man. His name was Jesus. God gave of his abilities as Jesus was perfect and had never done anything wrong. God gave of His resources as Jesus had incomparable riches used to save us.
WOW – WHAT COMPASSION!
Let us go all the way. Let us be merciful to others because Jesus has first been merciful to us. Let us learn from the mercy shown to us in order to know how to properly show mercy to others. We are only able to properly show mercy to others when we first receive the mercy from God ourselves.
Have you let Jesus show you compassion by believing He took yours sins, died in your place, rose again from the dead – and did all that to raise you from the dead and give you eternal life? Having received Jesus’ compassion, will you keep your eyes open to the needs of others and do something to be soft and gentle to others – be considerate of others?
You may say that’s not easy – especially for people I don’t agree with. Just remind yourself of the compassion Jesus showed to you. Then, copycat Him. You’ll find it is worth it. When we show compassion to others, God will show compassion to us.