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Who Cares?

The Beatitudes  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Past few weeks, we have been taking a walk through the sayings of Jesus known as the "Beatitudes." It is these sayings that Jesus shows his disciples what it means to live out their faith in the world. Last week, we nailed down the fact the commitment to God is reflected in our commitment to one another. For we can not separate the two if we are to truly live out what it truly means to be a Christian
Our series began with "Blessed are the poor" which teaches us that God approves of those who recognize their need for him. No matter how far we go in life, if we are to consider ourselves to be a child of God, we cannot do so without a need for God in our lives.
The next beatitude is "Blessed are they that mourn" which teaches that God approves of those who mourn over sin in their own lives as well as sin in the world.
The next beatitude beyond that one was "Blessed are the humble" which teaches us that God approves of those who have their strength under control. For meakness is not weakness.
Last week's beatitude pointed us closer to our relationship with our fellowman. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness" is not just as limited or as narrow as our western world leads it to be. If we merely limit ourselves to only trying to follow the rules for our sense of merit, we cheapen what Jesus is seeking to teach here, and we also cheapen our responsibility as disciples of Jesus Christ. Hungering and Thirsting for Righteousness extends beyond wanting to be marked for good behavior but it also challenges to desire right in the world for all people.
Tonight's beatitude metaphorically stands on the shoulder of the one that came before it because it is here that God calls us once more to bear in mind the needs of one another.

Verse Diagram

Keys: Blessed, Merciful, Mercy
Blessed ( God Approves)
Are Those
Who are Merciful (Compassionate)
I know this is not the answer that many were expecting or looking for but it also teaches us the importance of getting in the word for ourselves.
Normally, when some hear the merciful or mercy, they tend to think of forgiveness. I saw one commentary lean in that theological direction and thought that was lazy and self-righteous and self-centered exegesis at best. No doubt, forgiveness is important to the life of the believer. However, people still have real, life altering needs that need to be addressed while forgiveness is in the conversation. (Pause and Reference )
I believe that in the call to offer compassion is a call to see and need in one’s life and help meet it.
For They Shall Receive MERCY (Compassion). The Greek Lexicon of the New Testament defines mercy as “ to show kindness or concern for someone in serious need.”
to show kindness or concern for someone in serious need
Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 750). New York: United Bible Societies.
The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
No matter how lofty we may or may not become in life, all of us will need somebody at some point. This is why I am grateful that these beatitudes serves for us as mirrors and not just as glass windows. Hopefully, in seeing the pressing needs of others, we will somehow be able to see ourselves.

Examples of Showing Mercy/Mercy In Action.

A. The Samaritan - Road Assistance
The New Revised Standard Version The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”

But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Here in this text, Jesus confronts what Dr. Tim Woods calls “The Neighbor Issue”.. A religious leader came to Jesus wanting to know what he must do to inherit eternal life. One of those markers for eternal life called for him to love his neighbor as himself. Apparently, this was not enough for this man because he then turned around and asked “Who then is my Neighbor?”
It is then that Jesus tells the story of a man who had been beaten, robbed and left for dead. Two men had just left church and saw him but passed him by.
Then comes along a despised Samaritan who chose a different path regarding this response to this helpless man and after talking about how he treated him, Jesus asked “Who was a neighbor to him out of the three men who say him?” Of course, the Samaritan was the neighbor to him.
The How Question- How exactly was the Samaritan to the man on the Jericho Road?
He Considered The One Whom Others Passed By (v.31-32)
He Took The Time To Care for Him (v.34-35)
A. Tended To his wounds (v.34)
B. Covered His Bill (v.35)
Why does this serve as an example for us?
Jesus-Despised/Rejected
Cared for Us
Healed Our Wounds
Paid The Cost We Could Not Pay
I’m Glad That Jesus Chose Not To Pass Us By
B. Jesus- Putting Yourself Where They Are ()
Section Begins by Quoting
The Example of Jesus- Unashamed To Identify With Us.
How Does Jesus Models Mercy for US?
2:17- It was Necessary for him to be like us so that he could be our merciful high priest before God.
v. 18
What Does Jesus teach us through his example?
We can’t expect to model what we refuse to identify with. In other words, we will never be able to fully embody the notion of mercy until we are in a position to be merciful to others.
The New Revised Standard Version Exaltation through Abasement

Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

2:5-18- Jesus As Man
Section Begins by Quoting
The Example of Jesus- Unashamed To Identify With Us.
How Does Jesus Models Mercy for US?
2:17- It was Necessary for him to be like us so that he could be our merciful high priest before God.
v. 18
What Does Jesus teach us through his example?
We can’t expect to model what we refuse to identify with. In other words, we will never be able to fully embody the notion of mercy until we are in a position to be merciful to others.

Encouragement for the Merciful.

One day, you too may stand in the need of compassion as well. (, )
The New Revised Standard Version Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you.” And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly ordered them, “See that no one knows of this.” But they went away and spread the news about him throughout that district.

The New Revised Standard Version The Canaanite Woman’s Faith

Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

The New Revised Standard Version All Israel Will Be Saved

Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.

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