Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
I. ITS SURPASSING EXCELLENCY,
1. It is within all men's apprehension. It is no learned, erudite definition, requiring much culture to comprehend. The most simpleminded can understand it.
2. It commends itself to all men's conscience. It is not one of those commandments which require much thought and much practice to appreciate. It is obviously just and fair. It hardly admits of dispute. Every one can see, every one must feel - if "the light that is in him be not darkness" - that it is the right thing for him to do.
3. It excludes all evasions. No man can shield himself under any misrepresentation of the rule. He must know whether or not he is trying to act toward his neighbour as he would that his neighbour should act toward him.
4. It covers the entire range of human life, so far as our relations to one another are concerned. It covers:
(1) Action, and also inaction; including in its sweep not only those things we do, but those we leave undone - the attention, the kindness, the consideration, the return we should render but may be withholding.
(2) The judgment we form of others; the right they have to our patient, impartial, intelligent, charitable judgment; the claim they may fairly make that we should attribute the worthy rather than the unworthy, the pure rather than the impure, the generous rather than the mean motive.
(3) Our speech; the utterance of the kind and true word of our neigh-hour, and also to him.
(4) Conduct-all our dealings and doings, of all kinds whatsoever, in all the varied relations in which we stand to our fellow-men. This one rule of Christ is a powerful test and solvent of all other prescriptions. If they can be carried out and yet leave us short, in our practice, of doing to others as they would like us to act toward them, these rules are imperfect. They leave something to be desired and to be attained.
II. THE INSPIRATION WE NEED TO FULFIL IT. This great precept of Christ is not to be translated into action like any ordinary military or municipal regulation. We must gain some inspiration from our Lord himself if we are to keep this great commandment. And we must be prompted by three things.
1. An earnest desire to follow Christ's own example.
2. A strong purpose of heart to do his holy will, that we may please and honour him.
3. A kind and Christian interest in our neighbours; a gracious pity for those whom he pitied, and for whom he suffered and died; a warm interest in their welfare; a firm faith that they can be raised and renewed and refined; a holy love for all those who love him. - C.
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
1. We must show mercy and loving-kindness, practically, by deeds, not words.
2. We can show mercy by for. giving those who injure us. Few things are more talked of, and less practised, than the duty of forgiveness.
3. Mercy ever brings its sweet reward. Every act of loving-kindness comes back to us with abundant interest. Once a farmer, out on the western prairies of America, started for a distant town, to receive some money due to him. As he left his house, his only child, a little girl, clung lovingly to him, and reminded him of his promise to bring her home a present. Late on the same night the farmer left the town on his way home. The night was very dark and stormy, and he was yet far from his home, and in the wildest part of the road, when he heard the cry of a child. The farmer thought that it might be the device of some robber, as he was known to carry money with him. He was weary and wet with his journey, and inclined to hasten on, but again the cry reached him. The farmer determined that whatever happened he must search for the child, if child there were. Groping in the darkness, at last he found a little figure, drenched with rain, and shivering with cold. Wrapping his cloak about the child, he rode homewards as fast as possible, but when he reached his house, he found it full of neighbours, standing round his weeping wife. One said to another, "Do not tell him, it will drive him mad." Then the farmer set down his bundle, and his wife with a cry of joy saw that it was their own lost child. The little one had set forth to meet her father, and had missed her way. The man had, without knowing it, saved his own daughter.
(H. J. Wilmot-Buxton, M. A.)
1. The first excellence in the mercy of God which will naturally occur to our thoughts, as deserving our imitation, is its entire disinterestedness and perfect liberality. Our goodness, therefore, must be void of selfish and earthly motives.
2. Its universality. We must endeavour to do all the good we can to all around us, neither slighting the ignorant, nor despising the mean and indigent, nor abandoning the vicious and unworthy in their distress.(1) Although our mercy may and ought to be universal in will and intention, yet, in consequence of our little power, it must be very limited in reality and in effect (2 Corinthians 8:12).(2) This example of the unconfined extent of the Divine mercy does not hinder us from having a more particular regard to certain persons, and peculiar situations of distress (Galatians 6:10).
3. Its unwearied perseverance. Let us, like God, be "not weary in well-doing."
4. Its long-suffering patience.
5. Its readiness and willingness to forgive.
(James Biddoch, M. A.)
(E. H. Chapin, D. D.)
Homiletic Quarterly.I. WE ARE INCITED TO IMITATION- OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. We are His children, and children ought to resemble their parents (Ephesians 5:1, R.V.)
II. AN APPEAL IS MADE TO OUR SELF-INTEREST. It is a principle of the Divine administration that the standard you apply to others shall be applied to you.
III. OUR LORD SUGGESTS THE WAY IN WHICH WE MAY HOPE TO PASS RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENTS UPON OTHERS. By being first jealous and severe judges of ourselves.
(Handbook to Scripture Doctrines.)
The Dictionary of Illustrations.Mercy is in the air which we breathe, the daily light which shines upon us, the gracious rain of God's inheritance. It is the public spring for all the thirsty, the common hospital for all the needy. All the streets of the church are paved with these stones. What would become of the children, if there were not these breasts of consolation? It is mercy that takes us out of the womb, feeds us in the days of our pilgrimage, furnishes us with spiritual provision, closes our eyes in peace, and translates us to a secure resting-place. It is the first petitioner's suit, and the first believer's article, the contemplation of Enoch, the confidence of Abraham, the burden of the prophetic songs, and the glory of all the apostles, the plea of the penitent, the ecstasies of the reconciled, the believer's hosannah, the angel's hallelujah. Ordinances, oracles, altars, pulpits, the gates of the grave, and the gates of heaven, do all depend upon mercy. It is the loadstar of the wandering, the ransom of the captive, the antidote of the tempted, the prophet of the living, and the effectual comfort of the dying: there would not be one regenerate saint upon earth, nor one glorified saint in heaven, if it were not for mercy.
(The Dictionary of Illustrations.)— The Marshall D'Armont, having taken Crodon, ordered every Spaniard found in the garrison to be put to death. Though it was death to disobey orders, an English soldier ventured to save a Spaniard. He was arraigned for the offence, confessed the fact, and declared himself ready to suffer death if they would save the life of the Spaniard. Surprised at the request, they inquired why he was so much interested. "Because," replied he, "in a similar situation, he once saved my life." The marshall was so greatly pleased, that he granted him pardon, and saved the Spaniard's life as well.
1. A passion for judging others seems to exist in men. Every one, however backward to amend himself, is ready to correct others. The origin of this spirit is too clear. Deep in man's native selfishness. Exalts self, depresses others.
2. Are we never, then, to judge?(1) One cannot help forming opinions. It would be indicative of a perverted conscience to regard all with equal complacency. Yes, but this is different from the glad readiness to judge.(2) Sometimes needful to speak as well as to judge. But not in a censorious spirit, or overbearing tone.(3) The example of Jesus is the solution of the difficulty. Reprove only when needful. Then in righteous indignation, or in sorrowful rebuke.
1. Revenge is as natural to man as passing judgment.
2. Often as false and hypocritical, hiding itself under similar disguises.
3. Its root is ultimately the same. Selfishness — contradiction of the law of love.
4. Consequently condemned by example and spirit of Christ. His forgiving mercy was habitual, ready, cordial.
III. GIVE. The more active side of mercy. Opposed to bargaining or exchange — no thought of return. An evidence of sonship of God. When we are merciful, we come nearest to the Divine perfection.
(W. R. Clark, M. A.)I. ITS ACTS.
4. Helpfulness, according to the need of the object.
II. ITS OBJECTS. Our neighbour.
1. Erring (James 5:19, 20).
3. Under persecution.
4. In want.
5. In sickness.
6. In misfortune by the loss of good friends, or the unkindness of bad relations.
III. THE MANNER OF ITS EXERCISE. Acts of mercy are to be performed —
1. With readiness and forwardness of mind (2 Corinthians 9:7).
2. With modesty and humility (Matthew 6:1).
3. From a kind and merciful, not from a selfish and mercenary temper (Luke 6:32).
4. Without delay (Proverbs 4:23).
5. Bountifully (1 Timothy 6:18).
6. With minds full of gratitude to God (1 Chronicles 29:13, 17).
7. As to Christ Himself (Matthew 10:42).
IV. THE BLESSING PROMISED TO THE MERCIFUL. AS for external mercies, the Bible promises them very fully to the merciful.
2. God's blessing on his labours and undertakings (Deuteronomy 15:7-10).
3. The staving off of his trouble, and the lengthening of his tranquility (Daniel 4:27).
5. Honour (Psalm 112:9).
6. Deliverance from enemies (Psalm 41:2).
7. God s comforts in his sickness (Psalm 51:3).
8. A blessing on his posterity (Psalm 37:26).
9. More particularly, man's help in distress and God's providence.
(J. Blair, D. D.)
(Bishop W. C. Magee.)
(Bishop W. C. Magee.)
1. The objects of pity are the unhappy: the objects of mercy are the undeserving.(1) Mercy is seen towards those who have no claim upon us. The good Samaritan was merciful as well as pitiful; because the robbed and wounded man whom he succoured was wholly unconnected with him; was not only no relation, but even an alien and of a hostile race.(2) Mercy is shown, yet more strongly, towards those who have forfeited their claim upon us; those who had a claim, and have lost it. The prodigal son.
2. The nature of mercy.(1) Sympathy. A fellow-feeling with the undeserving. A deep consciousness of personal demerit, making me at once the equal and the brother of the undeserving.(2) This sense of fellowship with the sinner is accompanied with a sense of the evil of sin. By this it is prompted.(3) A desire for the good — the highest good — of the sinful. Mercy rests not in the fall. Mercy is not satisfied with bewailing the misery. Mercy expends not itself in sighs and tears, sits not down with the sorrow and the sinfulness which she both beholds and feels: she looks upward, and she looks onward — upward for help, onward to salvation; and is as ready to succour as she is prompt to sympathise.
3. The working of mercy.(1) Compassionate thoughts. Mercy, like every grace, has its seat within. We must begin with the heart. The thoughts of mercy will be disciplined into charitableness before she begins to speak or to do. She will recount inwardly the revelation of God concerning sin itself; how it first entered into the world; how it spread its reign hither and thither, till a flood of evil had hidden earth itself from heaven; how it works in the child, struggles for mastery in the man, and leads captive in unsuspected bonds souls born for immortality and for God. She knows how subtle are its workings, how fatal its delusions, how strong its chains. She pities even where she must condemn, and, where she cannot trust, she can at least hope still.(2) Compassionate thoughts come forth naturally into kindly words. The merciful man speaks mercifully.(3) Compassionate thoughts and kindly words will run on, lastly, into practical efforts. A man who has a feeling of compassion should always act upon it.
1. True mercifulness is a characteristic of those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, and they alone will be merciful in God's way, seeking not to please themselves, but to do His will "who is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy."
2. True mercifulness is always guided by meekness. It is exercised towards those who have ill requited our kindness, and are undeserving of our mercy.
3. True mercifulness can only be felt by those who have learned to mourn their sin, and in repentance turned unto God, and so have a fellow feeling with those who sin, and long to rescue them.
4. True mercifulness has, as its earliest beginning, poverty of spirit, for only those who in humility know themselves aright will never despair of others, or tire of showing mercy to the undeserving.
(C. J. Ridgeway, M. A.)1. He was merciful to all, not to some.
2. His mercifulness was provident, thoughtful, wise, seeking the real good of men, marked by the discrimination of prudence, withholding to-day what will do harm instead of good, giving to one what He refuses to another, always keeping before Him as the only true object of mercifulness the well-being of those He came to succour.
3. His mercifulness is unchanging. Time does not wear it out, nor years weaken it. He was merciful even as He loved, unto the end. Many waters could not quench it, neither the floods drown it. The waters came in even unto His soul, suffering and anguish overwhelmed Him; but His mercifulness lived on; it burned like the beacon light of the lighthouse, undimmed by the great storm of affliction that raged around. Nor is He changed now. His mercifulness is as true in His exaltation as in His Passion (Hebrews 2:17, 18; Hebrews 7:24, 25).
(C. J. Ridgeway, M. A.)
(C. J. Ridgeway, M. A.)I. THE NATURE OF CHRISTIAN MERCY.
1. It has its seat in the heart.
2. It is a supernatural quality.
3. It is an active principle.(1) It will be manifested toward the inferior animals.(2) To those of our fellow-creatures who are under bodily affliction and misery.(3) It will extend to the spiritual miseries of our fellow-min. Mercy to the soul, is the soul of mercy.(4) Towards our greatest enemies.
II. THE GROUNDS OF CHRISTIAN MERCY.
1. Because it is strictly enjoined by God.
2. Because we stand in constant need of Divine mercy. Were it withdrawn, there would be nothing before us but a fearful looking for of judgment.
3. Because our profession binds us to imitate Christ, who is the perfect pattern of mercy. In Him mercy was embodied. If we are His disciples, we will walk even as He walked.
4. We should be merciful because of the true pleasure which is associated with acts of mercy.
5. Because it is an express condition of our obtaining mercy.
III. THE REWARDS OF CHRISTIAN MERCY.
1. A good name.
2. A peculiar interest in the kind and merciful arrangements of Divine providence.
3. The merciful are blessed with the prayers and blessings of the miserable whom they have relieved.
4. They shall be blessed with the public approval of Christ at the last day. Application:
1. Let the exercise of mercy be pressed on all Christ's disciples. Cultivate it. Rejoice in all opportunities of doing good.
2. Let the mercy of God to us be highly valued. We need it daily. Only one channel for its communication — through Christ. Only one way to obtain it — through faith in His word.
3. The unmerciful shall have judgment without mercy. What a dreadful portion to the guilty sinner!
(J. Burns, D. D.)
LinksLuke 6:36 NIV
Luke 6:36 NLT
Luke 6:36 ESV
Luke 6:36 NASB
Luke 6:36 KJV
Luke 6:36 Bible Apps
Luke 6:36 Parallel
Luke 6:36 Biblia Paralela
Luke 6:36 Chinese Bible
Luke 6:36 French Bible
Luke 6:36 German Bible
Luke 6:36 Commentaries