Mercy has two distinct meanings in the Greek: 1- eleemon- “generous in doing deeds of deliverance.” 2- aphiemi- “to forgive.” In this instance, the former word for mercy is used. I think often we miss the richness of what this beatitude is telling us because we use the latter meaning and say, “Blessed are the forgivers, for they will be forgiven.” Certainly there is truth to this statement, but this way of thinking has a sense of reciprocity to it. I will forgive, and because I forgive, you too must forgive.
Mercy read as “generous in going deeds of deliverance,” lends itself to virtuous living. When we freely share of our service to others, helping them to break free of the bondage of sin, addiction, doubt, debt, disgrace and on and on and on we will be released ourselves from the things that so easily entangle us. How many of us can remember the unkind words spoken to us? How many can remember the mean-spirited way a family member treated us years ago? How many of are still wounded by the words of a friend spoken in anger? These actions and words are shackles and to live the virtuous life, we free ourselves from them. But how?
Simple, begin to help others loose their shackles, deliver others by actions and deeds and words of encouragement. This is how you begin to take this beatitude to heart and are shown deliverance as well. Remember what is said in Luke 6:36, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” This is the same word for merciful, eleemon, which is used in Matthew 5:7. We are able to do it, because God has done it for us.
So let’s remember, “Blessed are the people who are generous in doing deeds of deliverance, for they will be shown deeds of deliverance and have been shown deeds of deliverance from God.”
For The Kingdom,