Mer·cy /mərsē/ – Noun: Kind, benevolent treatment, especially when it is within one’s power or rights to act harshly; forbearance.
It is within each of our power to show mercy, daily, in our own circles of influence. When we show mercy towards others, we help heal a hurting world. In the Christian tradition, theologians have identified both spiritual and corporal “works of mercy.” These are:
Each of these works of mercy is grounded in scripture ( Isaiah 58:6-7; Matthew 6:2-4 & 25:31-46 ; Luke 3:11 & 11:41; John 3:17; James 2:15-16; Hebrews 13:3; and so on). Here are a few examples:
Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? – Isaiah 58:6
Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. – Matthew 6:2-4
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. – Matthew 25:31-46
Jesus said unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. – Luke 3:11
But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. – Luke 11:41
But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? – 1 John 3:17
Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. – Hebrews 13:3
And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. – James 2:16-17
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WebDefs – simple definitions of key terms relating to ministry and healing arts – are a regular feature of NHM Ministrants. Offered (where applicable) in conjunction with select key scriptural passages and analysis, WebDefs can be a useful starting place for exploring a topic of interest