BLESSED ARE MERCIFUL…
Justice – krisin 2920: righteousness – do what is right
Mercy – eleos 1656: Strongs: “mercy; kindness or good will toward the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them”; that of men: readiness to help those in trouble.
Faithfulness – pistis 4102: “persuaded – come to trust”; fidelity, faithfulness, i. e. the character of one who can be relied on
These are the things Jesus said were the weightier matters of the Law. The Pharisees were bent over Jesus seemingly ignoring the Law regarding abstaining from unclean associations – i.e. tax collectors. In these passages they chose crossing T’s and dotting I’s over people…period.
The “office” approach to pleasing God is so much “cleaner” and straightforward – people, on the other hand are, well – messy.
Blessed are the merciful – that requires relationship. God first has reached down and been merciful to mankind. He expects us to act like we got the message and be merciful to each other.
Hannah, an IF:Equip commenter, was adamant this morning about the word “mercy” in the Hos. 6:6, passage Jesus quotes, meaning loyalty to God rather than showing mercy to our fellowman. While I can see the word meaning in the Hebrew, I’m not so sure the carryover understanding in Matthew is that limited.
So to give grace to her discovery:
I gladly conclude that mercy shown to others is not our default. Hosea was speaking to a people who wanted to perform a ritual to maintain a relationship. God wanted them to understand their relationship with Him was based on Hesed – covenant loyalty, faithfulness. According to my research it is only used this way in this verse and it speaks of affection – to love God. God wanted their love not their performance.
So, the showing of mercy comes from my desire to respond to God’s love with love for others.
“YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” Luke 10:27