The One Who Showed Mercy


And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”
(Luke 10:37 NASB)



This is the final portion of the story of the Good Samaritan. We have all read and/or heard that story numerous times and we know that we are admonished to do good to those who are in need. However, there is more here than just doing good, but showing mercy -- and we are called to do the same.



What all does showing mercy entail? There are several texts which give us a clue. For example Luke 6:36 says, "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." In other words, this is a part of God's nature -- to be merciful and we are to clothe ourselves in his very nature and respond to our world in the same way that he would respond. The word merciful may also mean showing compassion, forgiveness, sympathy, understanding, leniency and benevolence. This is what God would want us to show to a needy and hurting world!

Interestingly in Matthew 5:48 we find this construct of the parallel found in Luke 6:36. "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." How is it that showing mercy is equivalent to being perfect? Could it be that we are to be perfect in the sense that we are to allow God to bring to completion his work within us -- to make us all that we were created to be, and when that happens we are merciful? How counter cultural is that? In a cut-throat, dog-eat-dog world, God is calling his people to be conformed to his image - to become more and more like him, and that means that we stop, slow down and show mercy to those around us.

We are told to love our neighbor. How do we love our neighbors? By showing mercy. It's that simple.



Lord, please help me to show mercy to those around me today. Amen.


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