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Blessed are the Merciful by Pastor Youngjae

posted Aug 24, 2014, 12:00 PM by Bowmansville UMC   [ updated Sep 18, 2014, 11:56 AM ]

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

 

Do you know the 19th century world renowned French novel written by Victor Hugo?  It was made into a movie which won a few academy awards.  Yes, it is “Les Miserables: The miserable.”  The story is about this peasant Jean Valjean.  He was in prison for 19 years.  Five years for stealing bread for his starving sister and her family and fourteen years for numerous escape attempts.  He was finally released, but he couldn’t find a place to stay.  Innkeepers turned him away because he had yellow passport that marked as a former convict.  He slept on the street cold and angry.  One day Bishop Myriel gave him shelter and warm food.  However, at night Valjean ran off with his silverware.  The police caught him and took him back to the Bishop Myriel.   Myriel pretended that he had given them to Valjean and offered him even two silver candlesticks as well.  When the police left, Myriel told Valjean that his life had been spared for God.

We all know the parable of Good Samaritan.  When this Samaritan found a person who was robbed and wounded he did not just pass by.  He took pity on him.  He bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine, put him on his donkey, and took him to an inn.  And he gave money to the innkeeper for taking care of him and promised reimbursement.

I just gave two examples of mercy.  You may feel like you don’t have to do such things.  However, our Lord Jesus commands us to do so.  A citizen of the kingdom of God must be merciful.  Citizen of the Kingdom of God must love their neighbors like themselves.  They are valuable equally before God as you are.  $20 bill is equally valuable whether it is crumpled or finely creased, dirty or clean, hold or dropped.  All of us will never lose our value before God.  We are priceless to him and He wants us know that for each other too.  When your children help and care for each other don’t you feel good?   When your children hate and fight against each other don’t you feel bad?  Well, I hope now you understand why God gave it to us as an order.

Jesus like God treats all of us equally as valuable persons.  He cares for those who are sick, poor, weak, spiritually and mentally ill, and all those sinners in varying degrees and kinds because they are the ones who need care.  Do you care?  Do you have mercy on them?  In his ministry Jesus reached out to them out of his compassion to save them from the misery.

There was a woman who was caught in the act of adultery.  People were about to stone at her in accordance with their law.  Then Jesus said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)  There was no one who dared to stone her.  We are all equally sinners before God.  We are only two kinds whose sin is either exposed to or hidden from the public.  But before God nothing can be hidden.  Jesus did not condemn the woman either but ordered her to leave the life of sin.  We are all sinners before God but at the same we are all precious to God.  God wants to deliver us from sin and its miserable result because we are so precious to him.  “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)  Do you see mercy of your God here?  Do you see compassion of your God?

To be merciful is to have compassion.  The word “compassion” in English means “to suffer together with,” but the Hebrew word for “compassion” (rachmin) is derived from the word for “womb”(rechmen)  God’s compassion towards us is like that of a mother towards her children.  “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” (Isaiah 66:13)  God loves you so much.

I want you to know that God loves you so much.  But also know that God loves not only you but everyone else as much as He loves you.  Therefore, we should not look down on anyone in any circumstances.  Do not neglect them either.  Whether they are poor or rich, whether female or male, whether old or young, whether white, black, orange, green, blue, or whatever, He cares about them all as much as He cares about you.   “Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37)  “Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)  It is not that mercy and forgiveness is our merit and then we receive mercy and forgiveness from God as rewards.  It is rather that given God’s mercy and forgiveness we should be merciful and forgiving.  Remember the parable of the unmerciful servant.  A servant was forgiven ten thousand talents from his master but refused to forgive his fellow for a hundred talents.  The master made him pay all he owed.

The one who received mercy in one’s heart can be merciful.  The one who received forgiveness in one’s heart can forgive.  The one who received grace in one’s heart can be graceful.  We don’t have to be a great hero.  You don’t have to care for everyone in the world.  That is plainly impossible.  Do what you can.  Care for your spouse, children, your church members, or your community members.  Forgive someone who trespasses against you in the past.  Jesus said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

Here is the word of the Lord Jesus Christ, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”  Amen.


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