September 14, 2009

Judgment Without Mercy

Matthew 18:21-35

Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.
James 2:13


In the parable of the unmerciful servant, Jesus illustrates the teaching we find in James 2:13: “Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.”

In Jesus’ parable, the servant who had begged for his master’s mercy refused to extend the same mercy to a fellow servant. Hearing of this injustice, the master called the first servant back and told him that because he refused to show mercy he would no longer receive the master’s mercy.

The God of mercy expects us to extend mercy to others. We have received God’s mercy because of all that Jesus has done for us. He asks that we forgive a spouse who has betrayed us. He asks us to show mercy to people who have wronged us, to forgive the child who has let us down, and to pardon the person who has done us harm. God wants us to reach out in mercy to people who have refused to show us mercy.

God will withhold his mercy from us if we refuse to show mercy to others.

The more we begin to understand the greatness of God’s mercy, the easier it becomes to show others the same kind of mercy.

Thank God for his mercy in your life, and begin to share his mercy today!

Father, we thank you for your great mercy. Help us to be merciful to all the people in our lives. Help us to appreciate your goodness and show it to others. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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