The Beatitudes: Part 6 of 9

Jesus must be looking down on His children with great sadness that after 2000 years, we have still not learned to love our neighbor [1]; but who is our neighbor? The lawyer in Luke 10:29 asked Jesus that very same question? Accept for Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross and His merciful propitiation for our sins, nowhere in the Bible does it more clearly unveil mercy as does the story of the Good Samaritan.

The love that Christ talked about in Luke 10 was Christian love and that, as disciples of Christ, we should treat all of God’s children with respect, kindness, and to give a helping hand where needed. To answer the Lawyers question of “Who was our neighbor,” Jesus told him the parable of the Good Samaritan.

As with the Good Samaritan, if there is something we are able to do for the person with whom we find in a need, then we should fulfill that need, instead of just praying for them. Although there is nothing wrong with praying for someone, and we should, but the love that Jesus is talking about here, is the kind of love we do instead of just feeling. The Jews of the day believed that their neighbor were their fellow Jews based on the Old Testament Law [2] and the Law was sacred to them.

The word most often translated “mercy” in the King James Version conveys a strong feeling of pity, sympathy, compassion, kindness, and affection. The Old Testament sometimes translates the word mercy as “lovingkindness.” When we show mercy to others, the Bible says that we will obtain mercy.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. [Matthew 5:7 KJV]

What Jesus meant by the result of Matthew 5:7 is when we show mercy to that person who is need; verse 7 says that we will not only receive mercy from God, but we will obtain mercy from men as well. In other words, we will reap what we sow [3]. Mercy is the hallmark of a Christian man or woman. (And people ARE watching us, but so is God.)

We can show mercy to those who offend us as well. Instead of recompensing evil for evil we should turn the other cheek, forgive, and pray. This is very hard to do sometimes but the Lord requires it [4]. Jesus not only told parables of mercy but was, and is, an active agent of God’s mercy.

Mercy is the compassionate care and lovingkindness of another’s misery and burden. Mercy is the willingness to help anyone in their time of need. How can we accept God’s mercy and grace, and not show it to someone else. Mercy comes before grace in God’s eyes. Because God is so rich in mercy and has such a love for us (even while we were yet sinners), made us alive in Christ, and by grace God saved us [5]. Because of God’s mercy and loving us so much, by His grace, He sent His Son to die for us in our place [6]. However, to receive God’s mercy through His grace, He requires a partnership through faith to activate that grace.

With the world the way it is today what with all the hate, persecution, and evil, it’s hard for this author to understand why a multitude of people are not clamoring to be at the foot of the Cross to receive the free gift of God’s mercy, grace, and love, just for the asking. It perplexes me, especially after all that Christ has done for us.
[1] Luke 10:27; Mark 12:30, 31
[2] Leviticus 19:18
[3] OT: Job 4:8; NT: Galatians 6:7-9
[4] Micah 6:8
[5] Ephesians 2:4, 5
[6] Ephesians 2:8, 9

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