“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.”– Jesus Christ
Last week, we talked about the first weightier matter Jesus taught his disciples to consider. Today, let us look at the second one in mercy.
Mercy is generally seen as goodwill towards men, especially to those who are undeserving. In some quarters, it can be seen as compassion or kindness.
One of the best models to look up to when it comes to mercy is God.
1. God is described as rich in mercy
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,” Ephesians 2:4
God has an abundant supply of mercy which He has shown towards us in love.
2. Mercy can be obtained from God
“Let us have confidence, then, and approach God’s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it.” Hebrews 4:16
The Bible implores us to come to God confidently, who is not only rich in mercy, but ready to give us mercy.
3. God is the source of mercy
“Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.” 2 John 1:3
It is one thing to be a giver of a thing, another to be owner and the source of that thing. God the father with his son, Jesus are the sources of mercy. To be kind and considerate, you have to go to the right source, which is God.
Now let us look at a picture of mercy from a bible story:
“On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “ ‘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, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:25-37 NIV
This story is about a wounded man, as a result of an attack by robbers. Two people passed by and didn’t care, but the third person who was an alien to a Jew, a Samaritan, attended to him, nursed his wounds, took him to the innkeeper and paid for his expenses. Not just that, but promised to pay off the remaining debt. You see from this story that mercy is compassionate; the man had pity and was willing to go the ‘extra mile’. It is not mercy if there is no ‘extra’. Jesus the story teller after his narration charged his audience to “go and do likewise”.
It is very tough, practically speaking, to be merciful. It can be inconvenient in a lot of ways, but it is possible to have the Christlike virtue of mercy.
How? Pray to God for heavenly wisdom. That is our master key to be full of mercy and rich in it as well.
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17
It is important to be just, yet also merciful. The two most times go hand in hand than against each other.
Please let me know what you also think on this? Will like to read your comments.
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Till I come your way again…
Peace & Love