Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. 23 Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt, and let him go. But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’
Jesus said, Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7) Webster describes “mercy” as kind, compassionate, and forgiving treatment.
Sometimes we need to extend mercy to others; often we need to extend mercy to ourselves. It is easy to forget that we live under the Covenant that grace bought for us by the blood Jesus shed on the cross. It is through this Covenant that we are able to approach the throne of grace with confidence, knowing that we will receive mercy and grace (Hebrews 4:16)
Is there someone to whom you need to extend grace and mercy today? Remember that the Lord extended His hands on the cross offering undeserved mercy. It is through His example and compassion that we are called to do the same with others.
It is too difficult to be merciful to others who have stabbed me in the back, been dishonest, or caused me harm. It is not within me to extend mercy to those who have hurt me. But when I consider what You have done for me, how You willingly went to the cross to offer me forgiveness for my sins, how can I do anything less than offer mercy to others? Fill me with Your agape love, compassion, and mercy today.
In Jesus’ name, Amen