Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.
He said: …
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
- Matthew 5:1-2, 7
It is human nature to beg for mercy when we do something wrong and to demand vengeance when something wrong is done to us. Jesus told a parable about that, where the man in great debt was forgiven, but then he could not forgive another a small debt (Matthew 18:21-35). It did not work well for the man who was not merciful.
But even later in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches the Lord’s Prayer. Of all the elements of the Lord’s Prayer it was only the concept of forgiveness that Jesus spent time in further explaining. Of course, we want God to provide our daily bread, but forgiving our neighbor? That is not an easy lesson to learn.
Yet, we have already discussed being poor in spirit. Who are we to demand our rights versus our neighbors, when we owe everything to God? We have already discussed being humble or meek. The same question could be asked once more. And when we look toward being more like Jesus, He taught us to be merciful and love our enemies.
This Beatitude mirrors what Jesus says about forgiveness in the Lord’s Prayer. We are to be merciful, and God promises to show us mercy.
With the inspiration to write a little “Thought on” style message for the “poor in spirit,” I thought that I would continue through the Beatitudes.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.