7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
~ New American Standard Bible
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
~ King James Version
This is what Jesus says in Matthew 5:7. Note that the word “obtain”
has been changed to “receive” in the newer version of the Bible; the
other words remain the same.
The dictionary definition of the word “mercy” includes “relief of
distress” and “compassion shown to victims of misfortune.”
“The merciful” (oί ελεήμονες – the same in New Testament and in
Modern Greek) are those who not only empathize in thought but also in
A truly merciful person cannot limit mercy to only a select group of
people or only certain other animals. And one cannot be considered
merciful if one cares about humans but has fun killing nonhumans. An
example of this type of discrimination came to mind early this morning
when I heard the gunshots of hunters outdoors. Which reminds me of a
conversation I had with the wife of a hunter (professing born again
evangelical fundamentalists) who told me that for her husband, hunting
served as an outlet for his anger and that he treated her better, as a
How can one be a born again believer, filled with the Holy Spirit,
and need to violently vent on either his wife or innocent animals who
have nothing at all to do with him and who have their own lives, no
less! What a choice! Such behavior is totally in opposition to the
example set by Jesus – the Teacher such “Christians” claim to follow –
Jesus who exhibited the ultimate in mercy when He willingly came to
earth in order to bring salvation to a fallen world.
To be a Christian is to be a follower of Jesus and His teachings,
which include being merciful to the whole of God’s creation.