Now, it’s because of God’s mercy that we have been entrusted with the privilege of this new covenant ministry. And we will not quit or faint with weariness. II Corinthians 4:1
Jesus never stepped into the presence of anyone who deserved His mercy or love. Love motivated Him. Grace carried Him. Mercy identified Him. He lived prompted by the Holy Spirit’s presence. Reaching out is never limited to reaching people who deserve God’s mercy. The target audience of mercy is always on undeserving people. Mercy has a big target audience.
When Jesus dined at Matthew the tax collector’s house, He enjoyed the company of society’s outcasts. He was fearless. He depended on the Holy Spirit for the right words. Words came easily for Jesus when He extended mercy. But eventually, he even had to find the right words to respond to the Pharisees!
The Pharisees questioned the appropriateness of Jesus enjoying the company of such low-life types as Matthew’s circle of friends. His well worded response should be our mandate for reaching out. Jesus said: Healthy people don’t need to see a doctor, but the sick will go for treatment. Matthew 9:12
Then he added, Now you should go and study the meaning of the verse: I want you to show mercy, not just offer me sacrifice. For I have come to invite the outcasts of society and sinners, not those who think they are already on the right path. Matthew 9:13
Jesus lived in the rush hour chaos of His three-year journey to the cross. What stopped Him in His tracks should also stop us. He saw no limitations in talking with a Samaritan woman at a well or He saw in feeding thousands of people on a hillside. He saw potential in opportunities that His followers walked past. He heard cries for mercy that others silenced. Extending mercy strengthened Him. When the disciples were beside themselves at the sight of Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman, He spoke of a nourishment which they knew not.
Jesus’ ministry touched every fragment of society. He lived responsive to those who needed his Father’s mercy. In fact, a quick study of Jesus’ miracles reveals an assortment of people usually kicked to the curb of society. They came to Him crying for mercy, and He responded with the mercy they needed. That’s what we can do. Extending mercy refreshed Him. It will do the same for us. The unfamiliar will wear us down unless we reach out with mercy to others.
Your calling is to fulfill the royal law of love as given to us in this scripture: ‘You must love and value your neighbor as you love and value yourself! For keeping this law is the noble way to live.’ James 2:8