Beatitude Five—Blessed Are the Merciful

Daily Devotion Friday August 18, 2017

 

Image result for the good samaritan images
Like the Good Samaritan, we are called to be merciful to those in need. Image source: YouTube

 

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“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”

Matthew 5:7

Mercy is one of the qualities that is hardly found in many people, disciples of Christ inclusive. A couple of weeks ago, in Kampala, Uganda; a young lady drowned in the presence of a young man who couldn’t help because there was no one to whom he could keep his phone to save the woman. The young man unashamedly confessed while being covered by television camera “I would have saved her but there was no one to whom I could give my phone.” This young man valued his mobile phone than the precious life of a fellow human being.

It is absurd that these days, many people would rather choose to take pictures and videos of an event (just to post on social media platforms) that otherwise would need their help than to help. Although quite many people are very merciful, mercy has remained a scarce quality. Christians ought to be merciful always, it is an act of mercy of God that we are and we have been commissioned to let us experience the love of God through our merciful acts.

Broadly, mercy is “A personal characteristic of care for the needs of others. The biblical concept of mercy always involves help to those who are in need or distress. Such help covers a broad range, from assistance in finding a bride to God’s forgiveness of sin.”[1] Showing mercy to others is one of the several proclamations of Jesus’ teaching in the beatitudes, Jesus said;

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy”

“As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,” Christians are commanded to clothe themselves “with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Col. 3:12). Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour has set a pattern of compassion which we are to emulate. “Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion” (Phil. 2:1), let it bear fruit in Christ.

Jesus’ saying that “blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy” doesn’t mean that showing mercy is a pre-condition to receive God’s mercy, lest none of us would have been saved. But “When people realize the greatness of God’s mercy to them, they will be more merciful to others. In return, they will receive yet more mercy from God.”[2] In other words, the experience of God’s mercy should be able to produce the fruit of compassion or mercy in those who have received mercy from the Lord.

We should therefore be as merciful as the good Samaritan who unlike the Levite and the Priest, stood low to help the man who had been battered to near death by robbers. Our acts of mercy shouldn’t only be shown to those like us, even the wicked show mercy among themselves. We must strategically show mercy to those who haven’t known Christ that they might see the merciful God and come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. The more mercy we show to others, the more blessed we shall be because “God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matt. 5:7 NLT). Amen!

Rev. J


Footnote

[1] Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for ‘Mercy, Merciful’. Holman Bible Dictionary. http://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hbd/m/mercy-merciful.html. 1991.

[2] Flemming, Donald C. “Commentary on Matthew 5:4“. “Brideway Bible Commentary”. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/matthew-5.html. 2005.

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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture Quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version (NIV) 2011.

Rev. Julius Izza Tabi is the founding Director of this online New Dawn Ministries. He holds a Master of Philosophy in Religion, Society and Global Issues from the Norwegian School of Theology. Julius also is a pastor in the Anglican Diocese of Ma’di and West Nile of the Church of Uganda who believes that God’s timeless truth of salvation must be preached to all Nations. Help Donate here to support the New Dawn Ministries. You can also support this ministry by purchasing Julius’ popular books Triumphing Over Odds and Suffering and Pain? from Amazon. Thank you.

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