“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Matthew 5:7
Jesus gives an incredible statement about the merciful: “They shall receive mercy.” As those who know the gospel and have received mercy from the Lord, we can often gloss over this verse. Yet it truly is remarkable. Think about it: the mercy you show to people has no bearing on the mercy others show to you in a natural sense. I may decide to show mercy to you for how you have wronged me. But that does not oblige someone else to show mercy where I have wronged them.
What Jesus is saying here is not that we earn God’s mercy by being merciful. That would be impossible. The crimes we have committed against the Lord are so much more grievous than all that we could have possibly forgiven. The reality is that the truly merciful are the ones who know God’s mercy. The effect is the other way around. Those who have seen God’s mercy cannot help being merciful to other people.
This is a statement about the effect that God’s mercy has on people. They are so changed and transformed by the work of Christ that they then display His mercy to others. It is an outflow.
This does not, however, take away the concern we should have if we are not marked by mercy. If those who are Christ’s are marked by mercy and we are not, that should be cause for soul-searching. We must remember the parable of the unmerciful servant and repent of lack of mercy where we find it in our hearts.
Praise the Lord for the truth in this passage. We shall receive His mercy. Let us be marked by that which flows freely and graciously from our Lord and Master.