Matthew 5:1-2, 7, 21-26
The Merciful

Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount

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.

The Beatitudes

He said:

"Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy."


21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

If God answered just one prayer right now, what would it be? Jesus’ teaching on the good life continues in Matthew 5:7 with being a person and a people who are merciful, who will, in turn, be shown mercy; to be blessed is to be good to those in need and receive goodness in return. Jesus’ promise is that to those who show mercy, mercy is shown and yet, so many of us have unanswered prayers despite whatever goodness we have shown. To make matters worse, there are those who take advantage of the merciful, and generosity can often enable ill-health rather than heal or restore.

As we continue to examine the blessed (good) life and Jesus’ call to be a people of mercy, we will see the power of mercy, the transformation mercy brings, and the hope that fuels us to be a mercy-filled people.