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Mercy and compassion are tied very closely together. Compassion has more the idea of something being done on a physical level, while mercy tends to be on another level, forgiving someone who doesn’t deserve it or things like that.
Mark 10:46-52 – Bartamaus was a beggar who sat along the road begging. In Jesus time it was a very common thing to see beggars. Beggars recognize their needs, they have needs that they aren’t able to take care of on their own.
Often we know we have needs, but we don’t know specifically what our true needs area. In the story of the Pharisee and the Publican one recognized his true need while the other one didn’t. One went home changed, the other did not.
We often think that we are “ok” because of the things that we are doing. The reason that we are “ok” is because God is a merciful God. God does require obedience from us, but he is the only one who can help us be obedient.
When Bartimaus heard that Jesus was coming by he immediately started to hope for something more than just a “helping hand.” He was looking for a life changing event.
God doesn’t always answer our prayers, at least not in the way that we expect him too. It’s hard to understand how God works some times.
The more that we know God and the more we have faith in God the more we can understand what He wants to give us. God does respond to our cry. Did Jesus ever turn away from people who said, “have mercy on me.” We see Him being very attentive to people who called on Him.
Life is complex and difficult. It is not an easy thing to say that we have faith and that God will answer.
- Bartamaus recognized his need.
- He recognized the source of his help – Jesus.
- He cried out. He really didn’t care what people thought about him.
Hebrews 4 – we can come to the throne of grace, boldly. We don’t have to worry that God isn’t going to have time for an audience with us. He wants us to come boldly.
Most of the time that Jesus healed people, they came to Jesus and asked Him for help. We need to cry out to God. We tend to be slower to cry out to God.
Jesus responded to Bartamaus and healed in response to his faith. Mercy is inseparable from who God is. It isn’t about us being attractive enough, or having the right level of obedience. God responds because He is a god of Mercy.
Christ is the ultimate example of God’s mercy. Christ laying down His life so that we can have life.
Matthew 7 – God’s mercy extended to us has a purpose… that we follow Him. God expects that we extend mercy to others because He has extended mercy to us.
We expect Christians to be merciful. That is part of the reason that beggars show up at mission doors.
For our mercy to parallel God’s we need to recognize the intrinsic value that another person has. Whether it is something they need physically, or whether it is forgiveness. Do we see God’s image in those around us?
We need to extend mercy to people in need. God calls us to be merciful not just to the people we know well and who are convenient to be merciful to. God calls us to be ministers of mercy, not just to specific people, but to anyone in need.
Mercy is to be very practical. The Good Samaritan helping the beaten man showed mercy very practically. Mercy should be a hallmark for us as Christians.
What does call us to do as His ministers of mercy? What hurts and needs are around us? We’re often fairly isolated, and don’t know what all is going on around us in the community. What are the needs and hurts around us? Do we know what other people need, even within our church family?
We tend to try to show a very polished picture of how things are going, or our house, or our car. It’s harder to know what all is going on inside when we are constantly putting a better looking exterior out there than is really the case.
God is a God of mercy. He wants us to call out to Him and rely on Him.