Why did Jesus in Matthew 5:1-12 promote mercy? Examples of Jesus’ mercy in the New Testament were healing the sick and befriending sinners. Our world is filled with cruelty, intolerance, indifference, tyranny, disdain, accusation and punishment. All of these things exhibit a lack of mercy. In a merciless world few people care about the sick or sinners, unless the system can make money off them with high medical costs or isolate the worst sinners in prisons without hope of reform. Yet in the midst of a merciless world are a few who show compassion without a dollar sign attached. There are some tenderhearted souls who work with sinners to guide them towards a better life. Jesus promised that if we show mercy towards the poor and the guilty, we too will be shown mercy. Surely we all need it.
We want justice. We criticize politicians, police, businesses, employees, parents, teachers, neighbors and children. When it comes to criticism of us, we again criticize others for their lack of mercy. Why is this, when we show so little? Why do we want justice served on others, but cry for mercy for ourselves? Why do we show so little mercy? A merciless atmosphere makes us walk on egg-shells. Mercy creates an atmosphere of trust. Lack of mercy creates a police-state-like atmosphere of secrecy and distrust. Mercy creates a warm, affirming atmosphere. Without mercy, we tend to cover up problems and leave them unresolved. In an atmosphere of mercy, we are not afraid to admit mistakes and they can be worked on. As Jesus taught in Matthew 5:1-12 be merciful and when we need it, it will be there for us.