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A Mary T. Hoffman Commentary from


"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


The Sermon on the Mount (Continued) – 14 October 2006
By Mary T. Hoffman

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 action.

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 result!

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.  

Go on to: The Sermon on the Mount (Continued) – 15 October 2006
Return to: “Is God Green?” – 13 October 2006
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