Blessed are the merciful! Jesus spent much of his ministry answering questions from lawyers, Scribes, and Pharisees who tried to test him. They simply refused to believe He was the Son of God. 

Blessed are the Merciful, for they shall obtain Mercy.
Matthew 5:7, English Standard Version

One day, a lawyer stood up and tested Him by saying, Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?  Jesus asked the lawyer what was written in the law. What did it mean to him.

The lawyer said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.

Yes, Jesus said, you have answered correctly.

But, said the lawyer, Who is my neighbor?

Jesus answered the lawyer by telling him this story.

A certain man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. The man couldn’t help but be happy, as the day was bright and cheerful. This, however, would soon change! Thieves came upon him, robbed him, beat him, and took away his clothes. There the man lay beside the road, almost dead.

Soon, a priest came along. He looked down upon the man, and saw that the man was hurt badly, but he refused to look at him any longer or to help him. Instead, he crossed the street and walked on the other side of the road. Next, a Levite came along. He looked at the man in disgust, and he, too, crossed by on the other side of the road. What would happen to this poor man? Would he die? 

Then, the Bible tells us, that a certain Samaritan man came along. (The Jews hated the Samaritans, and did not believe that they could be Christians.) The Samaritan, however, looked at the wounded man with compassion. He bandaged the man up, and poured oil and wine on him to help heal his wounds. Then, he put the man on his own donkey, and brought

him to a nearby inn. He was with the man all that night. In the morning when he needed to leave, he paid the innkeeper, and asked him to take care of the wounded man. He told the innkeeper that when he returned he would pay whatever it had cost to take care of the man, and for his room and the food he ate. Sure enough, when he returned he paid the innkeeper for all of the man’s expenses.

So, Jesus said, Which of these three men do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell among thieves?

The lawyer said, Obviously, the third man who showed kindness to the wounded man, was his neighbor.

Yes, said Jesus, Go then, and do the same thing. Be the neighbor who helps those in need.

Now, do you understand what it means to show Mercy? It means we go out of our way to help those who are in need; and, we not only help them, but we also give them money if they need it.

We take time to be a neighbor to others, even if it is inconvenient. Can we say, "Oh, I would have helped that poor person, but I am just to busy?" or, "I just don’t have any extra money to be a good neighbor. I must feed my family, and I need to have extra money so I can buy nice things for me and for my family?”

No, if that is what we think, then we are not being a neighbor.

What does the Bible tell us will happen if we are a good neighbor? The Bible says we will obtain Mercy. Why do we need this if we have more than enough money and things to take care of ourselves? Is that what the Bible means.

No, that is not what it means. We all need Mercy from God, because we are sinful and God cannot accept us the way we are. So, how do we obtain it? When we become Christians, and believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and ask Him to forgive us of our sins, Jesus shows Mercy to us. That is why Jesus died to save us from our sins?

Now, here is the important question. Why is it necessary to be a good neighbor when we are Christians? In other words, why is it necessary to be merciful?

Actually, when we are true Christians, we will a good neighbor by being merciful because our hearts are now changed. Instead of being selfish and only caring about ourselves, we will have compassion on others. Jesus tells us that if our heart is truly clean on the inside, then we will show Mercy to others, because what we are on the inside shows itself by the way we treat others. Even as a child, it is good to read the Bible and pray that God will help us to obey Him and to be a good neighbor.

In this story, then, which of the three men was a real Christian?

Yes, you are right, it was the Good Samaritan.

Blessed are the Merciful, for they shall obtain Mercy. 

Next: Blessed are the Pure in Heart

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