Session 07 – Mercy

Colossians 3:12 – And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;

Colossians 3 12According to the dictionary, today the words “mercy” and “compassion” are very similar.  Mercy is kind or forgiving treatment of someone who could be treated harshly.   It is kindness or help given to people who are in a very bad or desperate situation.

“Compassion” is sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it, a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble.

Without Christ in our lives, hardheartedness and indifference to the needs of others are normal.

When Christ is central to us, compassion is normal.  We feel for the needs of others and have the spiritual ability to really help because of Christ within. We may not be able to alleviate their difficult situation, but we can help them from the inside out.

Love Your Neighbour:

Luke 10:25-29 -When the lawyer asked, “Who is my neighbour?” The essence of his question was:  “Who am I to love?”

Luke 6:27 and 28; Matthew 5:43-48 – Love your enemies.

“Neighbour” is indeed not a hard or complicated concept. “Neighbour” means the one who is near.

The Greek word for “neighbour” is translated elsewhere in the Bible “near.” Whomever crosses our path, whether they are loved ones or enemies, we are to love.

Luke 10:30-32 – Levite was a temple minister. The priest and Levite were religious men who claimed godliness. Yet, somehow these men were able to justify within themselves not getting involved. They saw the man with their eyes, but their hearts were blind with hard-heartedness and indifference.

Verses 33-37 – Samaritans were deemed to be enemies of the Judeans.  The acts of the Samaritan in comparison to the priest and Levite give us our understanding of mercy.  Unlike the priest and Levite, the Samaritan saw with his heart and was unconcerned about the inconvenience his involvement would cost.

I Will Have Mercy and Not Sacrifice:

Matthew 9:10-13 – Our Lord had a heart full of mercy and always looked for those he could lovingly heal.  He considered himself a physician.  He told the self-righteous, pious ones to go learn the meaning of “I will have mercy and not sacrifice.”

Matthew 12:7-8 – The Pharisees were hard-hearted toward the needs of men. They were open-hearted toward rules, laws, traditions, protocol, procedures, and appearances. They were concerned about religion and not God and His people.

Hosea 6:4-6 – Their mercy was fleeting like the morning dew.

Micah 6:8 – He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD [Yahweh] require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

God Requires Mercy

Without Partiality, Without Hypocrisy:

James 1:21-27 – Pure religion is merciful and without hypocrisy.

James 3:17 – God’s wisdom is without hypocrisy.

Matthew 6:1-4 – Our righteous acts are not to be done to be seen of men for their praise.

Philippians 2:1-5; 1 John 3:16-18 – Have the mind of Christ.

Inherit the Kingdom

Matthew 25:31-46 – If we show mercy today, He will show mercy in the Day of Judgment.