Be Happy: The Merciful
Duane Cooper   -  
  • Have you ever given someone mercy before? I mean someone one did something to you, inconvenienced you, or wronged you, and you told them, “it’s alright, don’t worry about it?”
  • Talk about the series that we are currently in.
    • Quickly define what Beatitudes
      • They are the “Be-Attitudes” that should be in each of our lives.
    • Quickly talk about what it means to be blessed
      • The word “blessed” has the sense of being approved. Not only does God approve of these people and bestow Divine happiness upon them, but he also favors them. He lavishly bestows grace, mercy, and peace upon their lives.
    • We started talking about being poor in spirit, and what that means.
      • “The door to the kingdom is very low and you must crawl in”
    • Then we talked about those who mourn.
      • Blessed is the man who is desperately sorry for his own sin and his own unworthiness.
    • We dove into the subject of meekness.
      • What is this complex somewhat hard to understand idea? It has the idea of the proper balance between anger and indifference; of a powerful personality properly controlled; and of humility.
    • Last week we talked about Hunger and thirst for Righteousness.
      • “How much do you want righteousness? Do you want it as much as a starving man wants food, and as much as a man dying of thirst wants water?” How intense is our desire for righteousness?
  • Read the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:1-12
    • Today we are going to be in the 7th verse of this great chapter.
  • Blessed are the merciful,
    • This statement taken on his own, is a significant statement, however you also see this concept sprinkled throughout scripture. The New Testament is insistent that to be forgiven we must be forgiving. In multiple places in the NT it talks about this very principle.
      • James 2:13; Matthew 18:35
    • The original Greek word for mercy here has it roots back in the the Hebrew language. The word for mercy is checed and it is an untranslatable word. It does not mean only to sympathize with a person; or to feel sorry for someone in trouble. Checed, mercy, means the ability to get inside someone’s skin until we see things with their eyes, think things with their mind, and feel things with their feelings.
    • This is much more than “Oh I’m so sorry!”; clearly this demands a deliberate effort. It’s a type of sympathy which is not pronounced from the outside, but which comes from walking with the other person, until we see things as he sees them, and feel things as he feels them.
    • This is precisely what most of us do not even try to do. Most people are so concerned with our self, that we are not concerned with the feelings of anyone else. When we’re sorry, we dispense it from the outside; we don’t make the effort to get inside the other person’s mind and heart, like this idea of checed If we did make this deliberate attempt, it would obviously make a huge difference.
    • There is always a reason why a person thinks and acts as he does, and if we knew that reason, it would be so much easier to understand and to sympathize and to forgive. If a person is irritable and rude, he may be worried or he may be in pain. If a person treats us badly, it may be because there is something on their mind.
      • The French proverb has it, “To know all is to forgive all,” but we will never know all until we make the deliberate attempt to get inside the other person’s mind and heart.
    • That is what God did in Jesus Christ? In Jesus Christ, in the most literal sense, God got inside the skin of men. He came as a man; he came seeing things with our eyes, feeling things with our feelings, thinking things with our minds. God knows what life is like, because God experienced it from the inside.
      • Talk about how Eldon showed up at another church members house the night his wife died, and slept on the couch for several nights, never saying a thing, just being there. He had been there, and came to comfort, cause he had walked that road.
    • Checed is striving to see from, live in, walk with some one else. That is the level of mercy that is being discussed in this passage of scripture.
  • How is this parable plaid out in real life? What does it look like, if this is applied to a real life situation?
    • Read Matthew 18:21-35
  • (21-22)
    • Up to seven times? Peter, hoped to sound extremely loving by suggesting forgiving someone up to seven times when three times was the accepted limit taught by many Jewish rabbis of that time.
    • Up to seventy times seven: “Unlimited” is surely the idea behind up to seventy times seven; it would be strange if Jesus expected us to count offenses against us up to 490, and at the 491st offense, to deny forgiveness.
  • (23-24)
    • Who wanted to settle accounts with his servants: The king in this parable expected his servants to be faithful and honorable in the way they conducted his business. Therefore, one day he examined their work and would settle accounts with them.
    • Who owed him ten thousand talents: Commentators list the modern value of 10,000 talents as anywhere between $12 million and $1 billion. The figure clearly represents an unpayable debt.
  • (25-27)
    • His master commanded that he be sold: Of course, the man was not able to pay. Therefore the master commanded to sell the debtor, his family, and all he had. This would not satisfy the debt; slaves at their top price were sold at a talent each (and usually sold for much less). Yet it would bring some measure of justice.
    • Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all: The promise of the servant made no sense. He spoke as if all he needed were patience; that if he were given enough time he could actually pay this massive debt. The disciples listening to Jesus would think this was humorous.
    • The master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt: The master showed mercy prompted by compassion, forgiving a debt that obviously could never be repaid – despite whatever promises the servant made.
  • (28-30) The forgiven servant refuses to forgive.
    • One of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii: The servant who had just been forgiven an unpayable debt went out and found the one who owed him money. Upon meeting him, he immediately assaulted him (took him by throat) and demanded payment.
      • The debt was real. 100 denarii was roughly equal to 100 days wages. This was not an insignificant amount, but it was almost nothing compared to the debt forgiven by his master. It was actually 1/600,000 of the debt owed to the master by the first servant.
    • Have patience with me, and I will pay you all: The man who owed the smaller debt used the exact same plea and promise that brought mercy to the man who had the greater debt.
  • (31-34) The judgment of the unforgiving servant.
    • When his fellow servants saw what had been done: There is no mention in the parable of the first servant’s conscience bothering him about his conduct. It was his fellow servants that recognized the wrong that was done.
      • Sometimes we are painfully – and to our embarrassment – blind to our own sinful, fleshly conduct.
    • You wicked servant …: When the master heard of this, he was understandably angry. It was just wrong for a man who has been forgiven so much to then be so unforgiving. He then gave the first servant what he deserved – justice instead of mercy.
  • (35) Genuine forgiveness, from the heart, is required of all who have been forgiven.
    • So My heavenly Father also will do to you: The principle is clear. God has forgiven such a great debt, that any debt owed to us is absolutely insignificant in comparison. No man can possibly offend me to the extent that my sins have offended God. This principle must be applied in the little things done to us, but also to the great things done unto us.

Took: (5 min)

  • If each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses: With this, Jesus taught an important and often neglected principle regarding forgiveness. There are many sincere Christians who withhold forgiveness from others for mistaken reasons – and they feel entirely justified in doing so. ← Are you One?
  • Granville Ritchie was found guilty of killing Felecia Williams. Investigators said he had strangled and raped the 9 year old child to death before putting her body in a suitcase and dumping it near a causeway in May 2014. Felecia’s father, Jerome Williams, took the stand at Friday’s hearing, saying he has forgiven his daughter’s killer more than six years after her death.
    • “I’m not like everybody else, I’ve been where you’ve been at. I’m still supposed to be where you be at. But he [God] set me free. That’s what he’ll do for you. He may not release you physically, but spiritually he will,” he told Ritchie. “You ask God to make you a better man. Because I asked, and he made me a better man, so I ask that you do the same.” “Don’t look at this as your life being over,” he said. “You did wrong. Your mistakes are worse than others. When you get back to your cell, you get on your knees and you pray harder than you ever prayed in your life, and you ask for his forgiveness. I give you mine, I got no ill will toward you, bro. I love you, you are a child of God. But don’t play with it, because if you play with it, he’s going to destroy you.”
    • HE concludes by saying, lots of people say they are Christian, how can you be a Christian and not forgive someone who did you wrong.
  • Read Ephesians 4:32
    • Take Away:: No one can possibly wrong me as much as my sins have offended God.