“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” (Mt 5:7)
The Song of the Servant in Isaiah 42:1-4 was quoted in Matthew 12:18-21 with reference to Jesus Christ, the Chosen One. Verse 3 depicts that Jesus Christ is compassionate and merciful.
” A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.”
(Isa 42:3 NIV)
“A bruised reed” describes a person who almost breaks down, feeling broken and bruised. “A smoldering wick” describes a person who is hopeless and burned out spiritually.
During His ministry, Jesus reached out and helped anyone in need. He showed compassion to many people. Matthew 14:14 reads, “And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” Matthew 15:32 reads, “Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, ‘I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.'” Jesus considered both the physical and mental needs of the crowd. He healed the sick and fed four thousand with seven loaves and a few small fish. Jesus is compassionate and merciful to the people who are in need. Through the Holy Spirit’s help, we too can have such sensitivity towards the needs of those less fortunate than us, responding with compassion.
Mercy is compassionate treatment of the unfortunate and helpless. A person who is merciful can empathize with someone who is hurting, lonely, or distressed and feel with them in their pain. Living with compassion, by showing concern for those who are in need, we follow in Jesus’ footsteps, and manifest and spread the fragrance of Christ. It is a manifestation of love in actions and not just by mere words.
When someone we know is hurting or distressed and in affliction, we may feel sorry for his or her suffering. Yet sometimes we hesitate to talk to them or discuss their problems with them because we don’t know how to comfort them. We would like to help, yet we feel awkward. Even so, we can still offer our listening ears, companionship, and most importantly, our intercessory prayers. Praying for others means to pray for the sick, the afflicted, the troubled, the sinners, the spiritually weak, and the salvation of souls. For the afflicted, we may ask God to help them and to give them strength and endurance in times of difficulties.
If we are merciful, God will surely reward us for our kindness!