Jesus and Mercy
Many times in the Bible people cried out to Jesus for mercy–blind men, mother with demon-possessed daughter, father with lunatic son, and lepers. Every time that a person cried out for mercy for themselves or another person, Jesus answered their request.
Most of the requests for mercy were because a person needed to be physically healed. During the Old Testament times and the time of Jesus, most people believed that sickness was caused by sin. So it makes sense that they would cry out to Jesus for mercy. He did not correct their theology, he just answered their requests and healed the blind, lepers, demon-possessed.
We understand that you can have sickness and disease that is not caused by our sin. Sickness is a curse from the fall of Adam and Eve. However sickness can be the result of our own sinful behavior–smoking and lung disease, obesity and heart disease, bitterness and arthritis, drug use and hepatitis, homosexuality and Aids.
So what should we do if we have a sickness or disease caused by our own sin? Cry out for mercy, just as people did in Jesus times. Praise God, Jesus has not run out of mercy!
Mercy for Sinners
Over and over we see in the Bible where God has been merciful to sinners. In fact, scripture states that it is God's mercy that causes us to be born again.
"… according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," 1 Peter 1:3
"He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy…" Titus 3:5
Each of us can look at our lives and say we deserved death, but God shed His mercy upon us. We have done foolish and sinful deeds at times, and God has shown us mercy instead of judgment. If the God of this universe is willing to give mercy to us, should we not be willing to share His mercy with others.
In fact in Jude 1:21-23 it states that as God has given us mercy, we are to give mercy to others.
At times we call out for judgment and yet James 2:13 states: "…mercy triumphs over judgment".
In James 3:17 wisdom is defined as "…pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy…". Do you want to be wise? Offer mercy to others.
We need mercy
Throughout the New Testament, God is described as being merciful. Apostle Paul many times begins or ends one of his letters mentioning the mercy of God for us as believers. If we are really honest with ourselves and recognize the holiness of God, we will acknowledge our desperate need for God's mercy. It is only because of God's mercy, we do not always reap what we have sown. Just as much as God Almighty is a righteous, holy judge, He is also a merciful Father. He is a Father who shows mercy to His disobedient children.
Let's not also forget that because of His love and mercy, He also disciplines us at times. His mercy is revealed in His discipline because the discipline helps us from making the same unwise decisions. His 'spanking' is much nicer than what the consequences would be if we paid the full price of our disobedience.
In the next nugget we will speak on how to apply mercy in everyday living.
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Copyright @ 2010 Richard D. Dover. All rights reserved.
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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations used are from the New American Standard Version (NAS).