Verse 7: And blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary’s first definition of mercy is “That benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant.”
Grace is the nearest synonym to mercy implying benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity, or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders. Clemency is mildness; softness; or mildness of temper.
These definitions immediately drew my thoughts to the Savior Jesus Christ. He treats us each better than we deserve. He offers to forgive our trespasses and to forbear punishment if we will accept His Atonement. He is tender and loving toward our weaknesses, hurt, and challenges. He wants to save us from the justice our own actions will bring upon us. He lovingly offers to share our burdens and to comfort us.
He teaches us that if we are merciful, we shall obtain mercy. If we will forgive others, He will forgive us. To me this means that if we will be patient with others’ weaknesses, He will be patient with ours. If we are mild, soft, and patient with those we interact with, He will be mild, soft, and patient as He interacts with us. I believe we will obtain mercy through the learning experiences of being merciful. By learning to forgive and empathize, which is not necessarily easy, we will begin to understand the depth of what the Savior offers us. Our characters will grow more like His. Our interactions will become merciful. These ten words of the Savior’s teachings are powerful and broad and deep. Pondering upon them will stretch our souls.
Verse 8: And blessed are all the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Who are the pure in heart? Why is the consequence of their purity, the privilege of seeing God?
Pure means separate, clear, or free from heterogeneous or extraneous matter; free from mixture; free from moral defilement; genuine; real; true; incorrupt; innocent; chaste; free from vice or moral turpitude; free from any thing improper; absolute.
This definition refers to those who choose goodness, purity of thought, words, and actions. Those who are sincere in doing right because they love right.
All the pure in hear shall see God. God is pure. He is sincere in doing right. All goodness, truth, and purity comes from Him because that is what He is. He is completely, absolutely free from sin and evil. He is perfectly pure, completely pure. Those whose whole motive is to be good and right in all things shall have the privilege of seeing God.
I think they will see God in others, in the beauty of the earth, in their daily lives. I believe they will feel His love and help and tender mercies. Yes, I also believe they will see Him with their eyes but before that they will know Him because they are choosing to live His way and having His presence as a result of their choices.
Verse 9: And blessed are all the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. Peacemakers are following His attributes in their interactions with others. Peace, a state of quiet or tranquility, freedom from war, freedom from internal commotion, freedom from private disturbance or quarrels, freedom from agitation, heavenly rest, harmony, concord, or public tranquility, is an often sought state of sense or being. Jesus is the Prince, or Sovereign or Ruler, of that state. Living His way brings peace within and in relationships.
Establishing peace on earth requires His peace in our hearts and minds. Learning to live in peace takes effort and selflessness. It takes following rules and thinking of others before ourselves. It means learning together how to meet each other’s needs. It takes communication and practice. It means literally living in God’s way as His followers – His children.
Verse 10: And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Verse 11: And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake;
Verse 12: For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.
I think it is common to complain when people don’t like us. When people treat us wrong because of our belief in the Savior, the Savior understands. He who came to enable all men to be saved was despised and persecuted and eventually killed by those whom He came to help. Even in our day people reject Him and falsely accuse Him and some have ulterior motives as pretend to serve Him.
The Savior promises those who are persecuted because of their belief in and efforts to follow Him, that they will have great reward in heaven. B lessed means happiness or a means of happiness. Sacrifice for those we love is good. Sacrifice for those who persecute, revile, falsely accuse because we love the Savior is a means to happiness. Happiness because the pure love of Christ towards others is the greatest of all attributes. It brings true oneness with God.
No, one is not glad during persecution; however, the ability to love and do good to those who hate us shows unselfishness in great degree. In this, we can have great joy and gladness as we share depths of love for others with the Savior. Sacrifice is giving up something for something better. How marvelous to be able to give up human weakness and nature for Godlike kindness and love. Joy is in developing Godlike qualities. When we stand with the Savior in thought, behavior, and love, especially toward our enemies or those who persecute us, we will feel His joy.
May we each choose to let our love extend to everyone through the love and grace Jesus Christ offers each of us.