The Beatitude of Giving and Receiving Grace
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Matthew 5:7
Note with each beatitude, that the qualification for happiness progresses to a new level of spiritual maturity. The first begins with salvation and works through the desire to grow up spiritually in the last beatitude. Each presents inner happiness for the believer who continues to progress. As in the previous beatitudes, this one also promises inner happiness with a qualification.
The qualification, according to the NASB, is applying mercy in one’s life; the Greek nominative, plural, masculine adjective, ELEMON ἐλεήμων. Mercy is a mental attitude which considers the welfare and needs of others. Mercy is never given because the object of your mercy earns or deserves it but is predicated upon the virtue of the one giving mercy. The person who is merciful will seek out opportunity to demonstrate mercy to others. For the believer in this Church Age, such demonstrations of mercy are often related to one’s spiritual gift. Indeed, for the one with the gift of helps, mercy becomes one’s lifestyle.
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ exemplified mercy to the greatest degree when He went to the cross and bore the sins of the entire world, for all generations.
What would Jesus’ hears have thought when they heard these words? Would they have matched them up with many Old Testament passages which teach the same thing?
Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.’ Daniel 4:27
He who despises his neighbor sins, but happy is he who is gracious to the poor. Proverbs 14:21
On the other hand, perhaps the current legalistic teaching had stifled such impulses! Remember, that as a Church Age believer, your ability to be merciful toward others is directly related to your both your spiritual growth and to your spirituality. Pure mercy must be a reflection of God’s mercy toward you which can only be understood through God’s Word. Secondly, the Holy Spirit must not only motivate mercy but empower the believer to apply the pertinent doctrines.
This beatitude continues with a reciprocal connotation. Those merciful will receive mercy. The second use of mercy is the future passive indicative of the cognate verb. The translation, then, is accurate. Does this mean that if we show mercy to certain people that we should expect to receive from them the same merciful treatment? Should our motivation for mercy be predicated upon the expectation of receiving mercy? Certainly not! We have already been extended the ultimate mercy possible. We, who have all been born spiritually dead with no hope of salvation have been extended the incredible grace of our Lord by means of His work. Not only that but we have been extended grace upon grace. Not only did He die for us, but has also given to us His spiritual life by which we can live a life of tremendous happiness and satisfaction, all the while, glorifying our Lord! Can we be extended a greater mercy?
Your extended grace to others, then, should be a natural result of your spiritual life whereby you reflect the mercy extended to you.