What this world needs most is a little more MERCY! When you look at the many definitions of this word, it literally means “to alleviate the pain of others.” Jesus tells us in the Beatitudes (Meaning: the Attitudes we should have) that it is a blessing for those who extend MERCY to others, for in return, they will be shown MERCY. (Matt. 5:7) In other words, we are to live out lives extending God’s love to help alleviate pain in other people’s lives.
In Luke 10:27-27, you see one of Jesus’ most infamous parable about The Good Samaritan. In this parable, a man has been beaten and robbed alongside a road and is half dead. Two very religious men walk by and ignore the situation. A third person, the Good Samaritan, walks by and acts with mercy on the man, and responds urgently to his needs. At the end of the parable Jesus then challenges us with these words… Luke 10:37 (NLT) “…now go and do the same.”
From my reading of this parable, here’s how to live a life of MERCY extended to others.
#1 Eliminate the Barriers – These two men, one a Jew and one a Samaritan, were born enemies. Never were they to even associate with each other. Yet, the Samaritan eliminated any cultural barriers in his mind, and responded to this injured man in the way he would want to be treated. What kind of barriers do you have toward certain people?
#2 Keep a heart of Compassion – The Bible says that the Samaritan saw the injured man and had compassion for him. To have compassion means to empathize other people’s pain. What gets in the way of compassion is when we become so focused on ourselves that we can’t see the pain of others. This is always a dangerous place to live.
How about you? When was the last time you felt compassion for someone?
#3 Demonstrate God’s love – The Samaritan did more than speak words of love, he actually demonstrated love. God wants us to do more than tell people we love them, He wants us to demonstrate it without limits. Love is always best when it’s demonstrated!
When was the last time you demonstrated God’s love to someone?
The message of this parable is to do more than talk about how religious we are, but to actually live it out in the form of mercy. Today, ask the Holy Spirit to develop a Good Samaritan heart in you and give you opportunity to live MERCY out loud.