Jesus said in Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”(NIV) This Beatitude is our focus this week. Mercy is the release of another from a negative situation or release from consequences for their action. For example, if a person breaks the law, they are subject to punishment. This may be in the form of a fine or imprisonment. If the court shows mercy, they are released from that punishment, or it is greatly reduced. Mercy can also be shown to those who owe a financial debt. The debtor may plead for mercy, meaning they want the debt forgiven or the due date extended.
But mercy is not always related to people who are guilty or owe something. People who were sick or blind often cried out to Jesus for relief. They said, “Have mercy on us!” One instance begins in Matthew 20:30. Two blind men on the edge of Jericho wanted Jesus to heal them. He did.
This shows us that the key to mercy is this: it is granted by one who has power in the situation. The two blind men cried for mercy because Jesus had the power to heal. A judge can show mercy because he has the power to sentence another for a crime. If we are to live this Beatitude, we need to show mercy to others, whether those in need or those who have offended us.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.