Matthew 5: 7 – Blessed are the Merciful

In the Matthean arrangement the second set of four beatitudes (Mt 5: 7-10) begins with the beatitude of the merciful (Mt 5: 7). These beatitudes are not paralleled in Luke. While the first four beatitudes (Mt 5: 3-6) generally presented a situation of dependence on God, an attitude of waiting upon God to act, the second set of beatitudes emphasizes the need for action and active virtues. In other words, these beatitudes are concerned with Christian attitudes which are rooted in the teaching of Jesus elsewhere in the gospels.

Mercy is an important attribute of God, especially in the Old Testament. One of the earliest creeds of Israel affirms that God is merciful and kind: “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ex 34: 6). The God of mercy wants also his people to be merciful. Without mercy even the highest form of worship is not acceptable to God: “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Hos 6: 6). Jesus himself quoted this text of Hosea twice and emphatically affirmed the importance of mercy (Cf. Mt 9: 13; 12: 7). According to Luke 6: 36, Jesus wants his followers to be “merciful as the heavenly Father is merciful.” The parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew’s gospel (Mt 18: 23-35) clearly tells us what God expects from us: we who have received God’s mercy must be ready to show mercy and forgiveness to others. In the final judgement too those who will receive reward are people who have been kind and merciful to others. In other words, the final judgement of God is also based on mercy shown to others (Mt 25: 31-46). The beatitude, “blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5: 7) is a summary, as it were, of Jesus’ teaching on mercy in the gospel of Matthew.

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2 thoughts on “Matthew 5: 7 – Blessed are the Merciful

  1. Thank you for sharing about God’s mercy Sharon, which is all about His Love, to say we forgive someone means we are saying we Love them and affirming that we hold no bitterness and resentment towards them. Just as God removes our sins when we repent, as far as the east is to the west so we choose to forgive and not remember others.

    Psalm 103:11- 12 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

    Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger, and clamour and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

    We can’t receive forgiveness from God unless we repent although He chose to forgive us even before we were conceived but our repentance means we choose to turn away from evil and seek to do good by the Spirit’s empowering.

    Romans 12;21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

    Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

    God Loves everyone so He chose to forgive us while we were still sinners and we accept His forgiveness in believing in Jesus, which means we acknowledge Him as our Lord and Saviour, in our heart and this will be shown in our lives. We put our flesh to death as we aim to be perfected in Love and having the mind of Christ we are able to discern good from evil.

    Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

    Christmas Love, Joy and many Blessings Sharon during this Christmas season and in the New Year from both of us – Anne

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