Blessed are the Merciful for they will be shown Mercy

BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL FOR THEY WILL BE SHOWN MERCY
(THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT, PART 5)

I) INTRODUCTION – WE ARE CONTINUING WITH OUR STUDY OF THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT. THE FIRST FOUR OF THE BEATITUDES RELATE TO OUR DISPOSITION TOWARD GOD: Matt 5:3-6: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…” TODAY WE GO ON THE 5TH BLESSING EXPRESSED BY JESUS which relates to our attitude and treatment of others: Matt 5:7: Blessed (happy) are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. NIV

II) WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE MERCIFUL?
A) WE MAY NOT HAVE A FORMAL DEFINITION ON THE TIP OF OUR TONGUE BUT WE RECOGNIZE IT WHEN WE SEE IT. WE ALSO KNOW WHEN MERCY IS NOT SHOWN. DURING THE VIETNAM WAR THERE WAS A PICTURE TAKEN THAT I WILL NEVER FORGET. IT WAS A PHOTOGRAPH OF A SOUTH VIETNAMESE GENERAL HOLDING A GUN TO THE HEAD OF A VIETCONG SPY. THE PICTURE WAS SNAPPED THE VERY MOMENT THAT HE PULLED THE TRIGGER AND THE BULLET ENTERED THE MAN’S HEAD CAUSING A VIOLENT, SICKENING, JERKING MOTION. THIS PICTURE WAS IN LIFE MAGAZINE AND PUBLISHED ALL OVER THE WORLD. IT GRAPHICALLY PORTRAYED MAN’S INHUMANITY TO MAN. IT WAS A MISTAKE OF SEISMIC PROPORTIONS. THE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD AND OF THE UNITED STATES WERE REPULSED BY THE CRUELTY OF WAR AND THIS SENSELESS ACT OF BRUTALITY.
B) MERCY SPEAKS OF THAT GOODNESS, COMPASSION OR TENDERNESS OF HEART THAT CAUSES ONE TO OVERLOOK INJURIES TO THEMSELVES OR OTHERS AND TREAT AN OFFENDER BETTER THAN HE DISSERVES.
C) MERCY SPEAKS OF THE DISPOSITION OF HEART THAT TEMPERS JUSTICE AND INDUCES AN INJURED PARTY TO FORGIVE TRESPASSES AND INJURIES.
D) COMPASSIONATE TREATMENT OF THOSE WHO ARE SUFFERING AS A RESULT OF SIN OR SORROW EVEN IF SELF AFFLICTED.
RELATED WORDS: GRACE, CHARITY, CLEMENCY, and LENIENCY.

III) WHY SHOULD WE SHOW MERCY?
A) GOD IS MERCIFUL:
1) Hos 6:6: For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
2) Luke 6:34-36: But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
B)
JESUS WAS MERCIFUL (HE IS OUR EXAMPLE):
1) Matt 15:22: a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”NKJV
2) Matt 17:14-16: a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. NKJV
3) Matt 20:30-32: two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!” 31 Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!” NKJV
4) Mark 10:46-47: blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” NKJV
5) Luke 17:12-14: ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
6) Matt 9:12-13: On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: `I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” NIV
7) Isa 42:3-4: A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; 4 he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. NIV
C) BECAUSE GOD HAD MERCY ON US:
1) Titus 3:4-5: But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. NIV
2) 1 Peter 2:9-10:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. NIV
D) BECAUSE GOD REQUIRES IT OF US:
1) Mic 6:8: He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. NIV
2) Matt 23:23-24: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices-mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law-justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
3)
Luk 6:35 – 37 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
4) Col 3:12 – 14 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
5) James 2:12-13: Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!
6) JESUS WARNED EXCEPT OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS EXCEED THAT OF THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES WE WOULD BE ALLOWED INTO HEAVEN.
IV) WHAT DID JESUS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT MERCY?
A) THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN (LUKE 10:30)
1) A JEW WAS GOING TO JERICHO AND FELL INTO THE HANDS OF ROBBERS. THEY STRIPPED HIM AND BEAT HIM AND LEFT HIM HALF DEAD. A PRIEST TRAVELING THROUGH AND SAW HIM AND PASSED BY ON THE OTHER SIDE. LEVITE ALSO CAME BY AND SAW HIM AND PASSED BY ON THE OTHER SIDE IGNORING HIS PLIGHT. A SAMARITAN CAME BY AND HAD MERCY UPON HIM AND BANDAGED HIS WOUNDS AND PUT HIM ON HIS OWN DONKEY AND TOOK HIM TO AN INN AND INSTRUCTED THE INN KEEPER TO CARE FOR HIM LEAVING MONEY TO TAKE CARE OF THE BILL. JESUS ASKED HIS AUDIENCE “WHICH OF THESE THREE WAS A NEIGHBOR TO THE MAN WHO HAD FALLEN INTO THE HANDS OF ROBBERS?” THE EXPERT OF THE LAW CORRECTLY REPLIED “THE ONE WHO HAD MERCY ON HIM.” JESUS TOLD HIM “GO AND DO LIKEWISE.”
2) WE MAY CONCLUDE THAT JESUS WOULD HAVE US TO REACH OUT TO THE OUTCASTS OF SOCIETY AND HAVE PITY UPON THEM IN A SIMILAR MANNER. WHEN THESE OCCASIONS PRESENT THEMSELVES IT IS ALMOST NEVER CONVENIENT.
B) THE PARABLE OF THE UNMERCIFUL SERVANT (MATT. 18:23)
1) JESUS HAD BEEN ASKED BY HIS DISCIPLES HOW MANY TIMES THEY SHOULD FORGIVE THEIR BROTHER WHEN HE SINS AGAINST THEM. UP TO SEVEN TIMES? JESUS REPLIED “I TELL YOU NOT SEVEN TIMES, BY SEVEN TIMES SEVEN.”
2) HE WENT ON TO TELL A PARABLE OF A KING WHO WANTED TO SETTLE HIS ACCOUNTS WITH HIS SERVANTS. ONE SERVANT OWED HIM 1O,OOO TALENTS WHICH THE MAN WAS UNABLE TO PAY. THE MASTER COMMANDED THAT THE AND HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN WERE TO BE SOLD TO REPAY THE DEBT. THE SERVANT FELL ON HIS KNEES BEFORE THE KING AND BEGGED FOR MERCY. THE SERVANTS MASTER TOOK PITY ON HIM AND CANCELLED THE DEBT. THE SAME SERVANT THAT HAD BEEN FORGIVEN WENT OUT AND FOUND ONE OF HIS FELLOW SERVANTS THAT OWED HIM A 100 DENARII AND GRABBED AND CHOKED HIM DEMANDING THAT HE PAY HIM. HIS FELLOW SERVANT GOT ON HIS KNEES AND BEGGED THAT HE BE PATIENT UNTIL HE COULD PAY, BUT HE REFUSED HAD THE MAN THROWN INTO PRISON UNTIL HE COULD PAY THE DEBT. THE FELLOW SERVANTS TOLD THE MASTER AND THE MASTER CALLED THE SERVANT IN. “YOU WICKED SERVANT,” HE SAID, “I CANCELLED ALL THE DEBT OF YOURS BECAUSE YOU BEGGED ME TO. SHOULDN’T YOU HAVE HAD MERCY ON YOUR FELLOW SERVANT JUST AS I HAD ON YOU?” HE TURNED HIM OVER TO THE JAILERS TO BE TORTURED, UNTIL HE SHOULD PAY ALL HE OWED.
3) JESUS CONCLUDED, “THIS IS HOW MY HEAVENLY FATHER WILL TREAT EACH OF YOU UNLESS YOU FORGIVE YOUR BROTHER FROM THE HEART.”

V) CONCLUSION – THE PRIMARY BENEFIT OF SHOWING MERCY TO OTHERS:
A) THAT WE WILL OBTAIN MERCY WHEN WE NEED IT. (WE ALL NEED MERCY.) SO THAT WE CAN APPROACH GOD’S THRONE IN CONFIDENCE THAT HE HEARS US WHEN WE CRY OUT TO HIM. Heb 4:15-16: For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. NIV
B) THE SECONDARY AND MORE IMPORTANT REASON FOR BEING MERCIFUL IS BECAUSE IT SHOWS OUR HEARTS ARE BECOMING LIKE GOD’S HEART. IN THE TABERNACLE THERE WAS THE HOLY OF HOLIES WHERE THE PRIEST WOULD GO ONCE A YEAR, INTO THE VERY PRESENCE OF GOD TO OFFER A SACRIFICE FIRST FOR HIS OWN SINS AND THEN FOR THE SINS OF THE PEOPLE. HE WOULD SPRINKLE THE BLOOD OF THE SACRIFICE ON AND BEFORE THE MERCY SEAT IN A VERY ELABORATE AND SOLEMN CEREMONY. THE CLOUD OF GOD’S GLORY WAS ABOVE THE MERCY SEAT BETWEEN THE TWO GOLD CHERUBIM WHOSE WINGS WERE OUTSTRETCHED ABOVE THE MERCY SEAT. THIS WAS FULFILLED IN THE NEW COVENANT WHEN JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD HUNG ON CROSS WHILE HIS BLOOD DRIPPED TO THE GROUND.
C) WE MAY NEVER KILL SOMEONE IN RAGE OR MALICE BUT WE CAN BE CRUEL AND UNMERCIFUL IN OTHER WAYS: WHEN WE EXCLUDE THOSE FROM OUR CIRCLE OF FRIENDS SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY HAVE MENTAL OR PHYSICAL PROBLEMS OR LACK SOCIAL GRACES; WHEN WE FAIL TO LOOK OUT FOR THE POOR, THE ELDERLY AND THOSE WITH INFIRMITIES THAT CANNOT LOOK OUT FOR THEMSELVES; WHEN WE MEN IGNORE THAT STRUGGLING SINGLE MOTHER WHO IS RAISING A YOUNG BOY WITHOUT A FATHER, WE COULD BE THAT FATHER FIGURE. WHEN WE HOLD GRUDGES AND KEEP A MENTAL INVENTORY OF WRONGS THAT HAVE BEEN DONE TO US AND FAIL TO FORGIVE.

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