I am a Jesus pusher!!! “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy,” (Matthew 5:7). The bullies in my grade school would corner me, twist my arm behind my back, and exert pressure. They wanted me to beg for mercy. “Mercy” was identified with weakness. The powerful, those in charge, do not need mercy. When they extend mercy, it is from a sense of pride and arrogance. “Mercy” is strangely a Christian virtue. All the other qualities contained in the Beatitudes are linked to it. “Mercy” is as naturally a part of the Kingdom of God as breathing is to living.
The Roman culture spoke of four cardinal virtues: wisdom, justice, temperance, and courage. “Mercy” is not in the list. “Mercy” begins with Jesus. Even the Old Testament with the laws and punishments was interpreted through the eyes of a merciless world. The traditional Pharisaic theology did not willingly embrace mercy. The Jewish culture of Jesus’ day was steeped in “Blessed is the righteous, for God will be merciful to them.” The unspoken thought was “for they deserve it.” They earned, merited, and owned it. “Mercy” was the result of a self-sourced earning. This enabled them to withhold “mercy” from everyone else who did not obtain their level. But this is not the Kingdom. My helplessness is filled with His great presence; it is mercy in abundance. Who could merit such a relationship? I am a Jesus pusher!!!