The word of God is full of references to mercy. In Ephesians 2:4, we read that God is rich in mercy and in Lamentations 3:23, we are reminded that his mercies are new every day.
So, what is mercy? It is compassion, love, pity, goodness and kindness; a tender desire to bless and do good, especially to the sinner, the hurt and the needy. In several interactions with the Pharisees and Scribes, Jesus illustrated mercy by contrasting it to the harsh, judgmental and legalistic attitude of such leaders. (Matt 9:13; 12; Luke 23:23) In several such encounters Jesus quoted from the book of the prophet Hosea (Hos 6:6) where God said: “I desired mercy not sacrifice” (KJV).
He used the parable of the Good Samaritan to exemplify the attitude and outworking of mercy. (Luke 10:37) The Samaritan cared for a Jewish man who had been robbed and beaten when others of the victim’s nationality walked by without showing any compassion. The point of the story is even more poignant when you consider the enmity between these two people groups.
It was God’s mercy that saved us and we are called to walk in his mercy in our own lives: “mercy rejoiceth against judgment” (James 2:13); “be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:36).
Lord, may your mercy flow through us.