Currency of Mercy
Passage: Matthew 5:38–5:48
Everyone has a "currency" that directs how they interact with others. The currency could be money, status, job titles, physical attraction, or sex. People trade, barter, negotiate or withhold their currency from others to achieve their goals. It is reasoned: "Isn’t this how life works?" It is a world of recompense. You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours. Do good to me, and I will do good to you. It is also a world of retribution. Do me wrong, and I will return it. If insulted, I must respond, or I will be taken advantage of. If my rights are threatened, I must fight for them or lose all of my currency. Relationships work this way; corporations work this way; indeed, nations work this way.
Our series through the Sermon on the Mount continues this Sunday, and Jesus introduces His followers to a radically different currency. We might call this the “Ultimate Upside Down Teaching” because, according to Jesus, this quality will define us unlike any other. The actions flowing from this currency will set us apart. And in the days in which we live, this might be the most important evidence of God’s reality.