Defining Moments: Mercy

In 1 Timothy, the Apostle Paul greets Timothy with a blessing of “grace, mercy, and peace” and later marvels at the reality that an opponent of Christ and Christians like himself would “receive mercy” from the glorious Lord Jesus Christ (vv. 13, 16). But what is mercy? Mercy is multifaceted. It is heartfelt pity toward someone in distress or misery that takes action to help them. In that sense, it’s what Jesus felt toward the leper who came to Him begging for healing and what compelled Jesus not only to heal the unclean man but even to touch him despite cultural taboos. But mercy also involves holding back judgment from one who deserves to be punished. In that sense, it’s what the king in Jesus’ parable did for the servant who was weighed down in the king’s debt, forgiving what the man owed him by incurring the cost himself. In our passage today, Paul celebrates the almost too-good-to-be-true reality he experienced of Christ’s mercy when the very Lord Jesus he had been violently opposing confronted Paul not with the judgment he deserved but with an invitation to know Him and spread His gospel to other sinners who needed to hear of God’s mercy through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Have you received this life-changing mercy? If so, are you extending similar mercy to others?

Pastor Mike