As He delivered the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus was intentional about the order of what we call the beatitudes. He was leading us through the way of the Christian life, guiding us from that first step of knowing our need for Christ to this fifth one—the greatest way to imitate our heavenly Father—exercising mercy.
Our world doesn't always see mercy as a virtue, however. One Roman philosopher called mercy "the disease of the soul." Sadly, Roman men treated women and children the way our society treats the unborn today: with no mercy. Even among the Jewish people, the Pharisees taught that it is only necessary to show mercy to someone when they have shown mercy to you.
The more mercy we pour out, the more His mercy will pour into us.
However, Jesus' teaching on mercy turned that worldly wisdom upside-down. He said that when we show mercy to others, our hearts will be in such a condition to receive more and more of God's mercy so that we may be able to give more mercy. The more mercy we pour out, the more His mercy will pour into us. You see, God is looking for people to be conduits of His mercy—to be people who resemble and represent the Lord Jesus Christ. For love generates mercy, and mercy provides forgiveness. That's a message the world needs to hear and a hope the lost need to experience: the love of God displayed in His mercy toward sinners.
Prayer: Father, I know mercy is beautiful because it is a part of Your character. I experience Your mercy every day as You forgive my sins and extend to me a love deeper than I can fathom. May I be a conduit of that incredible mercy to those around me. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy" (Matthew 5:7).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon Happiness Is in You, Part 5: LISTEN NOW