“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. (Matthew 5:7)
Matthew 5:7 says, “Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.” Like the other Beatitudes it contains a twofold pattern: to get into God’s kingdom you must seek mercy; when you are in His kingdom you will show mercy to others.
If you are a merciful person God will continually pour out His mercy on you. He will forgive your sins and meet your needs. If you are not merciful there’s a good possibility that you aren’t a Christian. Those who show mercy are merciful because they have received that characteristic from God.
Christ’s promise that the merciful “shall obtain mercy ” (Matt. 5:7) refers to both the present and future. In Psalm 86:3 David says, “Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto Thee daily.” In Psalm 23 he says, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life” (v. 6). David’s request in Psalm 86 and his statement in Psalm 23 show he saw God’s mercy as a present reality to be sought for and enjoyed. As our merciful High Priest Christ continually intercedes with the Father that mercy be extended to us now.
God’s mercy is not free. Extending it to mankind cost God His only begotten Son (see John 3:16). The Puritan pastor William Bridge wrote, “Look what Christ delivered us from, that he endured for us; for he delivered us by suffering; he delivered us from death, and he endured that; he delivered us from Satan, and his temptations, therefore he endured them; he delivered us from the law, therefore he was made under the law; he delivered us from sin, and he bare our sin; he delivered us from the wrath of God, therefore he did conflict with that; and from the torments of hell therefore he did suffer them” (The Works of the Rev. William Bridge, vol. 3 [Beaver Falls, Pa.: Soli Deo Gloria, 1989], p. 211).
God’s mercy is a free gift that has been fully paid for. If you do not know Christ, accept God’s mercy freely offered through Christ. If you do know Christ, take comfort in the rainbow of God’s mercy spread over you through His Son.
Adapted from a message by John MacArthur – “Happy Are The Merciful”