Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7)
What exactly did Jesus mean with those words? Was it a law that Jesus proclaimed, stating that if one individual puts in X, the result of this action would be that X would be extended towards that individual thereafter? Was it simply a specific case of the law of the harvest; you will reap what you sow?
Did Jesus mean that the merciful would be dealt with mercifully by his/her fellow men? If anyone, Jesus knew that mercy is not always extended to the merciful among the children of men. Jesus went about doing good and his bowels of mercy directed his every act during his ministry. Blind received their sight, tormented received their sanity, lepers were cleansed, deaf would hear, dumb would talk, dead would walk. Yet he had more enemies than anyone else. He invoked more feelings opposite of mercy than most people ever did. And so did his apostles after him, and his prophets before him. So, even though being merciful will bring mercy from some, and perhaps even many, it is quite clear that really merciful people will make enemies too.
Jesus made a personal promise to the merciful. That’s what it was. Blessed are the merciful for I will be merciful towards them. Why is that such an important promise? Why is that so important that I would even want to be merciful unto death to be at the receiving end of that promise?
Jesus is the Judge of all, both the living and the dead. Living a merciful life would render a ‘get out of hell-card’, since on the Day of Judgment Jesus will make good on his promise. After all, we are all beggars before him. We are all unworthy. But our faith in the Lord, and our mercy towards our brothers and sisters, will make Jesus look upon us in mercy, and we will become perfect in him.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Mat 25:31-40)