Called to Contrasts: Maturity in Making a Difference
JESUS has been making the same point over and over again. He is calling people to follow Him and be changed. Not in some ethereal, playing harps on clouds ways. But in day to day changes that make changes in other lives to attract those people to JESUS to be changed.
Now JESUS is saying that those who follow Him must excel the requirements of the Law. But the strange part is that they won’t behave this way because they must but because they will have the desire. And, if they want to, they will be able to, through the power of GOD in them. The irony is that they aren’t required to, but they will as a byproduct of love for Him.
It’s easy for married people and parents to see. Because they know the principle of love in the overflow. That’s the lesson GOD created marriage and children to teach.
If you love your husband or wife and you know there is something that pleases them you don’t give them a picture of it for your anniversary. You give them what they find pleasure in. Lots of it.
If you have a child who loves a favorite cartoon character, your home soon becomes a home for cartoon characters in books and toys and cereal bowls and cups.
When you love JESUS you respect His creation. You don’t only avoid the wrong of adultery, you want to avoid lusting after women. You struggle with the flesh against it. You avoid the situations that cause it. You pray against it. And you increase healthy relationships He encourages you toward. You work to heal marriage instead of entertaining the idea of divorce or taking advantage of its victims.
And even if you don’t want to stop, you have the power to stop if you’re willing. And if you aren’t willing you have the power to struggle in prayer to be willing.
If you have given yourself to Christ, you have His Spirit in you to call you to contrast with the world. To call you to make a difference by His making you different to help others. You are called to have a supernaturally different life to make supernatural differences because you are a child of GOD.
You are meant to be mature, fully ripe, fully complete. Like an apple tree that bears beautiful, healthy apples. Not by will or intent so much as that’s what healthy apple trees do. Your Heavenly Father is perfectly complete and fully mature and His seed is in you, nourished by Him. And the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
“Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, that every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
And if thy right eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body be cast into hell.
And if thy right hand causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body go into hell.
It was said also, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: but I say unto you, that every one that putteth away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, maketh her an adulteress: and whosoever shall marry her when she is put away committeth adultery.
Again, ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: but I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by the heaven, for it is the throne of God; nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, for thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your speech be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: and whatsoever is more than these is of the evil one.
Ye have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, Resist not him that is evil: but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
And if any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him two.
Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy: but I say unto you, Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you; that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. For if ye love them that love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the Gentiles the same? Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Matthew 5:27-48 ASV
#Love #Marriage #Parenting #Relationships
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Mature in Making Amends
JESUS has been talking for quite a while. But He is only just getting started. He’s sitting on a mountain talking to those who are amazed at His words and are amazed that He seems like nobody and somebody at the same time. He speaks to them as if He is a rabbi, a teacher from GOD. Yet He acts like one of the common people. He SEES them. He is INTERESTED in them. And when He tells them to do something, they want to obey because He has the power of GOD, healing them. And something more. It feels like this stranger the rabbis would condemn for what He says and does KNOWS them. The secret them. And it feels like love.
JESUS has told them that if they follow Him it will change them from the inside out as much as they are willing to change. They will be as godly as they are willing to be but never as godly as they want to be, always craving to be more. And now He is going into examples of how to be mature as His followers, those who will see GOD.
Ask any infant in a car seat and if you could understand them they would tell you they are perfectly capable of driving the car thanks to the plastic steering wheel on their car seat, complete with the beep-beep red button horn. They think they are mature drivers.
Ask any five year old and they will tell you that they are perfectly able to drive a car because they have seen Mommy and Daddy do it. Complete with words they can only use when driving and finger gestures. And with no need of pedals which they can’t reach but can’t be too important because they can’t see them anyway. They think they are mature.
Ask any driver on the highway and even though the asses cut you off in traffic and go too slow in the wrong lane so that you have no choice but to gesture at them and shout at them and yet they think they are mature.
Look at yourself, a fine driver even though these asses on the highway insist on cursing at you and waving fingers at you even though you know you are mature.
JESUS says when you are a Christian and are going about your business loving GOD as a result of a new relationship with Him you should recognize that He fulfilled the Law for you in order for you to love others for Him. And that will take maturity. That’s when He goes “from preachin’ to meddlin’.”
If you are angry at someone it should stop you in your tracks. Most especially if it is a fellow Christian you know believes the Gospel.
You are condemning yourself again. You are forgetting what the sacrifice of Christ to forgive you cost Him. You are forgetting your equality as a sinner before GOD with whomever offended you. You are driving a wedge in the relationship that is meant to bring that person closer to Christ. You are immature.
If you let that anger build up so it takes action against the person you’re angry at it’s like proving your guilt of ingratitude for the sacrifice of Christ before the supreme court. You are proving you are very immature.
And if you become so prideful as to think a fellow Christian who believes the same Gospel as you is suddenly a worse sinner than you and degrade their belief in GOD because of something not Scriptural but personal, you had better re-evaluate whether you are a Christian yourself. The change as a result of really knowing JESUS through the Holy Spirit is not showing. Just the opposite. You are pushing fellow Christians to doubt because of you. Check if you are truly understanding what GOD the Son did for you.
The solution JESUS commands is immediate action. Make amends. As soon as you realize that someone, especially another Believer, is upset with you. Go and make peace with that person as much as is in your power. Even if you or they waved fingers or shouted words at each other on the way into the church parking lot. Making amends for Christ’s sake is a sign of a child of GOD growing into maturity.
“Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the hell of fire. If therefore thou art offering thy gift at the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art with him in the way; lest haply the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou have paid the last farthing.”
Matthew 5:21-26 ASV
The Least and the Law
JESUS is so confusing sometimes. Considering He is called “the Word”, the ultimate expression of communication, in the Bible He can be hard to understand sometimes. Until He’s not.
JESUS is teaching on a mountainside and has explained the differences that will happen to those who truly are His. They will be changed by the Holy Spirit and will have the free will to show those changes to bring others to JESUS to find eternal Life. Or they can hide the changes to protect themselves and lose the joy of the purpose they were given to fulfill while on earth.
But then JESUS goes off on a tangent about Himself and the Law. What has that got to do with how we are changed by the Holy Spirit? What has JESUS and all those old laws got to do with us since He came to give us a NEW covenant (contract) with GOD? Even the Apostle Paul will tell us about how “We are not under Law but under Grace.” So what’s JESUS going on about? What has the “Old” Jewish Law got to do with us Christians? Everything. And that’s what JESUS is saying.
JESUS says when you are a true follower of His you will not only live like it, under the power of the Holy Spirit, but you will teach others what He teaches you. Maybe someone in a similar situation. Maybe in a Bible Study. But GOD will give you the opportunity to tell others what you have learned from Him. He is saying don’t make the mistake of thinking He came to cancel out the Law. That is saying it is obsolete. “That was then, this is now.” Do not pull a Gideons by thinking you only need the New Testament in your pocket and some comforting psalms and pithy proverbs. JESUS says He came to fulfill the Law. And that is very different.
One of the ironies in life is that it takes water to prime a water pump and get it to work. Say you are a gallon short of water to prime the pump but there is no water to be had. Nothing you can do can fill that gallon jug. And without it you can’t run the pump to get more water. You can cry into the jug, spit into the jug, but nothing you can do, even bodily fluids, can fill the jug on your own. You need an outside Source of water.
Only JESUS can fill the jug with the Living Water of the Holy Spirit available only through His death, burial and resurrection for you.
That jug is the Law. You can’t just abolish the Law because it is integral to understanding Who GOD is in His Holiness. JESUS says it describes Him. So to prime your Christian Life and produce His Love as a result of the Holy Spirit living the Life of JESUS through you, you must have the whole gallon of the Law fulfilled…which is only possible by JESUS. Moses said it is physically possible to fulfill the Law. But sin corrupts our heart to be unwilling. The Holy Spirit changes that through enough faith to trust JESUS to have fulfilled it for us.
JESUS says when we are Christians we will be changed because of the Holy Spirit but never to think we are divorced from the Law. And certainly never to teach that. We need to understand the Law to learn more about GOD and His Holiness. And that JESUS fulfilled the Law to empower our Christian Life for love of Him.
We will still be Christians if we refuse to stay linked by Christ’s Love to the fulfillment of the Law and to teach others to do the same. It is a matter of our will. But the quality of our lives and our ability to bless others in His Name will be diminished because of it.
The only way to be truly righteous (as we are meant to be in GOD) is in JESUS’s righteousness given as a gift. And that comes by His having fulfilled the Law for us as perfectly as we should be (in Him) with GOD.
“Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 5:17-20 ASV
Fight to be Light
JESUS is still teaching on a mountainside (what will come to be known as the Sermon on the Mount) and is giving examples of how those who belong to Him should be demonstrating it in who they are (what we call the beatitudes) that He described earlier. Not by their own effort but as a natural result of relationship. It is what He will describe as fruit in later ministry.
Right now He is describing Christians as light. Those who know JESUS have the most wonderful relationship possible as children of GOD, the most wonderful future, eternal Life beyond death and joy, and the best reason in the world to live in a way that shows the world there is more to Life than we realize. All because JESUS died for us, rose from the dead for us, and (if our relationship with Him is healthy) shines through us. His Light and Life are supposed to be shining through us so others can find Him. That’s the point. And serving others adds to our joy.
Our love for JESUS is meant to be seen and noticed in spite of attracting the attention of those who oppose it. We are meant to bring others to Him and we can’t do that if we’re hidden under our own worries and fears. Only when we shine can others see us, those who need JESUS for themselves (everyone) and fellow Christians who need the strength of unity with other Believers.
This is where we realize that although the Light is from GOD, not from us, He allows us to control how much we allow to show. A week before His crucifixion, JESUS would shout out to the people in the streets of Jerusalem that they could have been rescued by Him but were unwilling. Though Salvation is a free gift we must be willing to accept it. Though the Light of having Christ in our hearts is given by GOD, not our efforts, we must be willing to allow Him to shine through.
We must make shining a matter of the will. Not to produce Light. We already have the Light of Christ if we are His. But we must be willing to keep ourselves in the condition where the Light of GOD can be seen in us. JESUS says “LET your light shine.” Showing the Light we are given as His child through believing Him for eternal Life is a matter of the will. The place we choose to shine (hopefully everywhere) is a matter of choice. We can rise above circumstances and opposition or hide in our own troubles. The choice is ours but the consequences are the difference between JESUS having suffered for you to shine for others and whether you respect His sacrifice enough to do it or not.
Christians are meant to be the beacons attracting others to JESUS by making His Presence be known through them in every situation and conversation. But they must be willing to fight for the sake of what it cost Him and what others will lose without their influence. Otherwise their opportunity to bring glory to the Father in gratitude for His eternal Love and Light and Life will be buried in ingratitude. And an opportunity to rejoice at being used by Him to bless others will be gone.
“Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are in the house. Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:14-16 ASV
Slim Fast and Salvation
I hate Slim Fast. You’re supposed to drink it to replace a meal to help you lose weight. I hate it because it says it will taste like “Creamy Chocolate.”
Now I know a little about chocolate. I eat as much as possible to keep children from getting it and getting fat and cavities. You’re welcome. Sometimes I even take chocolate from children for their own good…the small ones who don’t bite too hard…but I digress…
The point is, Slim Fast has cocoa as the third ingredient. It is supposed to taste like creamy chocolate. but it tastes like the linoleum under the refrigerator. (Hey! Don’t judge me! I dropped a Hershey’s Kiss under there.)
JESUS understands. He is teaching to crowds on the side of a mountain and has just finished all of the qualities those who love Him will have. We call them “the beatitudes.” Because JESUS, GOD the Son, died to rescue us from death, we can be completely who we were created to be. He finishes the list by saying we will be hunted, hurt and maybe murdered for it because it will be obvious to those who hate Him (and therefore us when we act like Him).
Now JESUS mentions examples of how Christians with a healthy relationship with Him should be acting for others to see they are Christians. And the first is not to taste like Slim Fast.
If you are a Christian, you should taste like one. You are wearing the label of “Creamy Chocolate.” (Salt in the example JESUS gives.) You should be what gives flavor to this Life because you live in the zest of knowing GOD loves you so much He gave His Life to give you Himself forever. You should be noticeably different because you are a member of the Kingdom of Heaven. Healthy Christians are obvious because they show all of those qualities JESUS mentioned earlier of being repentant, humble, longing to serve others for Christ, merciful, having integrity. Not through their effort but as a natural by-product of being Christ’s. Salt doesn’t try to be salty. It’s just the quality of the combination of one part of sodium with one part of chloride. And you cannot be the flavor of Christ to attract others to Him without Him or without showing enough of Him to the world.
You as a Christian are the means to bring others to find JESUS. That is the reason your heart kept beating the following minute after asking Him to take over your heart and mind and Life. You are meant to attract attention, not to yourself, but to Him.
Salt also kills. If poured on the ground it will keep plants from growing which is why it is used on paths where people walk to keep grass from covering over the path. If others are not coming closer to JESUS because of you, you are making the road to Hell easier to walk.
Be the taste of Heaven JESUS gave His Life for you to be. Live your Life in Him. Live your Life with Him. Let others see, hear, and come to feast on His eternal Life for themselves.
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.”
Matthew 5:13 ASV
The Fit Witness
The courtroom is packed. A person is convicted and sentenced to death. There is a group of witnesses who can save the life of the accused but to do so means revealing themselves as knowing the one who can save the accused and grant them an inheritance. But it puts the witness’s own life in jeopardy from those who are jealous and want the accused dead.
The witness’s relationship to the one offering the inheritance to the accused makes all the difference.
If you claim to be a Christian, you are a witness. And if you were not a Christian before reading this, you are being called to be one now. The person facing death is every person who does not know JESUS. A co-worker. A family member. A neighbor. That person in Africa everyone is so concerned about never hearing about JESUS.
JESUS is the King offering eternal Life as His inheritance to the person facing death. But it’s up to you whether to risk your own life and have those the devil uses as weapons to torment you, laugh at you, lie about you, and perhaps even kill you.
What do you do? What are you doing? Because this is no hypothetical question. You face it every day you wake up in your body. The answer depends on how much you love JESUS, understand what He has done for you, and are compelled by your love of Him to love others by sharing about Him with them.
JESUS says the fit witness, the one who truly is His, will suffer as a result. Because the devil hates Him those the devil uses will oppose anyone who belongs to JESUS. Because they will act like Him and say what He said. They will reveal themselves in order to offer the inheritance of JESUS to others. The only difference is that the fit witness finds themselves fellow heirs of eternal Life. Not for having witnessed. They already had it for what JESUS did. But if they hadn’t witnessed to whatever degree they wouldn’t have been His because the power of being His is the cause of being a witness.
As JESUS winds up His teaching on a mountainside about how to be completely happy by being holy through being wholly His, He has gone through all of the stages. Acknowledgement of the need for Him. Heartbreak at the lack of Him, and cost to Him because of you to rescue you. Humility at being a sinner like every other human being but Him. Being overwhelmed by the desire to serve Him by loving others in His Name. Realizing our purity only through Him. And, having found peace with GOD through Him, offering others that total completeness that will have us see GOD in eternity.
But the sign that we are truly His is that we will show it. Maybe in small ways. Maybe not visible much to many. But it is impossible for the Holy Spirit to have come into a person and not effect some change. That change is our witness to others, how willing we are to show His love and offer His inheritance. How much depends on how well we know Him and experience something of Him to share with others. But it will cost us something.
The courtroom is packed. The accused stands in threat of eternal damnation or, if you intervene at the risk of your reputation, your desires and your life, the accused will find Life. You are a witness to Who Christ is and what He has done for the accused…Will you stand and speak?
“Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you.”
Matthew 5:10-12 ASV
I am a voice crying out in the wilderness.
Nobody hears me.
But I must sing.
I am a bird singing out in the wilderness.
Nobody hears me.
But I must sing.
Some songs are for remembering.
Some shouts are for pain.
Some voices shout memories.
Some call for change.
Some songs go unheard now
but still we must sing
as witness in eternity
to the power of our King.
I am a voice crying out in the wilderness.
Nobody hears me.
But I must sing.
– Paul Villano
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A Piece of Peace
What we call the “Old” Testament was spoken and written in Hebrew. That was the language used by the people GOD chose as His people.
The New Testament was written in Greek. That was the common language used by most people especially those who could write because the wave of the Greek Empire had covered so much of the known world before it receded to the Roman Empire. Although the Romans still kept much of Greek culture. Greek was the best language to write in for a message to reach the most people at the time. If there were newspapers, text messages and emojis they would have been in Greek.
JESUS spoke mostly Hebrew and Aramaic (a mixed language of the area He lived and spent most of His time in).
All that to say it makes a difference in what we read and what we understand in the New Testament. For example, the word “Peace.” The word you’ll read in today’s verse in Greek is the word we get the name “Irene” from. And it means what we understand “peace” to mean (untroubled, not at odds). But what JESUS *said* was “Shalom” or the Aramaic variant of it. And the Hebrew/Aramaic “Shalom” means something much bigger and deeper and broader than the Greek. It’s the difference between the water from your faucet and the water in the ocean. The Greek “Peace” is faucet water and still water but doesn’t have the depth and breadth and power of the ocean of meaning the word “Shalom” has in both Hebrew and Aramaic.
Shalom means everything the Greek word for Peace means: untroubled, etc. But it also means complete wholeness, fulfillment, the way you’re intended to be when everything is as it should be. It’s like a cake where all of the elements of the recipe were used in the right measure and it tastes exactly like it’s supposed to.
When JESUS sat on a mountaintop telling all those who would listen (who would later teach what He taught) how to be wholly happy He told them they must be holy by making others feel Shalom. Not just untroubled but fulfilled, everything they are intended by GOD to be.
We know this because later in His ministry, as JESUS, GOD the Son, is about to leave earth and return to GOD the Father, He specifically contrasts the two kinds of peace. He says that He is leaving His peace…His Shalom…completeness, fulfillment, integrity of all we are meant to be…to those who follow Him because they WILL have trouble (NOT the Greek and English sense of untroubled peace). Because JESUS has overcome the world, those Who fully belong to Him do not need to have the world’s peace of no worries and no wars. They are in the world only to tell others about Him as they pass through now. But their security is in Him not the world. They know who and Whose they are and have completeness in being Christ’s.
JESUS says the only way to be wholly happy is to be wholly His by accepting only He can make us holy or happy. Through Him we have peace with GOD and can bring peace to others in His Name. Not just a piece of peace but wholeness, completeness because of Whose we are and Whose they can be. They have become sons of GOD.
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of God.”
Matthew 5:9 ASV
You might have heard or even used the word “Catharsis.” It means to make a clean slate by letting out all of the emotional trauma that was bothering you so your mind and heart are calm again. The word Catharsis comes from a Greek word used to describe what JESUS calls you (and all of us) to be.
JESUS is continuing His description of how to be wholly happy as He teaches on a mountainside. He has already explained we must first recognize we need Him to be holy. This realization is meant to make us devastated…”gutted” as the British say…over how we have wasted the gift of Life He has given, that we are doomed without Him, and what it cost Him in suffering and death to get us back. We realize we are sinners among a world of sinners and are humbled. Realizing the great gift of eternal Life JESUS has given us we crave to return His love for us by loving others because of Him and telling them about Him. We seek to be merciful to others with Christ’s mercy He showed us…
And then JESUS says something that stops us in our tracks. All of these traits He had mentioned so far are natural byproducts of faith. If we really “get it” about what JESUS has done for us the love of Christ nudges us. The Holy Spirit comes into us and pushes us forward. We may not always or even often obey. It may not even be visible. But we WANT to.
But now JESUS says to be wholly happy by being holy we must be pure, clean, in our thoughts, intentions and life.
WHAT?!?! Even as Christians…moreso BECAUSE we ARE Christians…we know we cannot qualify. If the devil from the outside didn’t tell us our failings the Holy Spirit on the inside will remind us to keep trying to do better. And so will those we are trying to love.
And that is the point. JESUS is saying when you are His you must recognize you ARE clean because you are His. You ARE pure although you don’t always act like it.
People you try to help will hurt you. You will be more conscious of your failings than ever before but you are absolutely clean and pure before GOD because you are standing inside of JESUS. He gave you His purity. That desire to change and be better is your catharsis.
JESUS is saying when you are His you ARE pure in heart because it is HIS heart you are living with. You may not see it. Others may not realize it. But because you are His you have inherited all of His pureness and cleanness though you haven’t seen the inheritance papers yet and won’t see the total fulfillment until after this life.
JESUS says to be wholly happy you must be holy and pure and clean. And you must REMEMBER you are, not by what you say or do or others do or say but because HE says so, because of what HE did for you. And you shall see Him as He is in Glory and be like Him. You shall see GOD because GOD the Son saw your filthiness and gave His perfect purity to you at the Cross.
“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
Matthew 5:8 ASV
The most compassionate person you will ever meet is someone who has scars from the same wound you have now. The most merciful person you will ever find is the person who has suffered what you are suffering.
The best example of this is JESUS. GOD decided in eternity past that the best way to pay for human debt was to do it Himself. And to do it Himself He came as GOD the Son in order to suffer our temptations and limitations so that He can be most merciful because He understands what we went through best. JESUS knows. He has experienced your pain. And He can bring you through it, even death. He is the most compassionate Judge of all, which is why He insists that we take our healing through His suffering. When we accept His suffering, death and resurrection was for us, we understand true mercy. And in our love for Him and recognition of what He has done we are merciful to others who are just as sinful as we are and need JESUS as much and no more than we do.
As JESUS explains how to be wholly happy to those who will listen, He says we must be holy. We must realize our need of Him. That will lead to mourning over our sinfulness and what it cost Him. That will lead humility in knowing we are equal to every other human being as sinners in need of JESUS. That will lead to craving to serve Him out of gratitude to Him. Which will lead us to do what He says shows we love Him best, being merciful to each other. Feeding. Clothing. Comforting. And most of all, sharing what JESUS has done for and taught us, so they can meet Him for themselves. Sharing someone out of Hell is the most merciful thing we can do.
To be wholly happy we have the holiness only possible by belonging to JESUS, covered by His Holiness on our behalf given out of His Mercy. And that will make us compassionate in showing our scars to those suffering the wounds of sin.
At the end of all things we will be judged not by scars of having served others, for that would be to disregard what Christ has done and cannot earn what He has already paid. We shall only receive mercy by claiming the scars of JESUS, the Most Merciful. Only they can empower us through gratitude by the Holy Spirit to be merciful as He is, not in ourselves.
“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”
Matthew 5:7 ASV