This morning we looked at the healing of another blind man (see Luke 18:35-43), but not only did we see a miracle of healing, we learned a lot about mercy.
Mercy is defined as ‘compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.’ Someone has said that grace is getting something you don’t deserve, and mercy is not getting what you do deserve. Mercy and grace are often linked in Scripture (1 Tim 1:2, 2 Tim 1:2, 2 John 1:3, Heb 4:16), but we need to understand the seriousness of sin if we are to fully appreciate mercy.
Adam’s first sin led to a separation between mankind and God which means we are all deserving of God’s judgment (see Rom 3:23, Rom 5:12). God’s mercy is so great that He has made a way of salvation through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ (Eph 2:1-3) Mercy is not just found in the New Testament, though; in the Old Testament we find God described as merciful and compassionate (see Ps 103:10-12, Dan 9:9, Neh 9:31, Ex 33:19). God’s mercy to us is so great that we are called to be merciful to others: ‘Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.’ (Luke 6:36)
What does mercy look like in our own lives? Often, it will not necessarily look miraculous, but to be patient, forgiving, loving and kind to others (even when they don’t deserve it!) means we are reflecting God’s character (see Col 3:12-14, Phil 2:3-5). This is how God wants to reach the world, by showing mercy through us.