Have mercyApostle André Pelser, 2017/05/28
Preached at a Sunday Evening service
After Jesus was glorified on the Mount of Transfiguration where Moses & Elijah came down to remind him of the death he still had to accomplish, he set his face like a flint towards Jerusalem. Nothing was going to stop him from finishing his mission in this life.
Three of his close disciples were with him: Peter, James & John.
As they passed through Samaria the people did not receive him even though he did so many miracles and taught so many people. The disciples were furious. They wanted to call down fire on Samaria and see it destroyed like Sodom & Gomorrah, but Jesus said: ‘you don’t know what spirit you are of. But I want you to go and learn mercy.’ It was a vital lesson for them. Jesus did not come to destroy people but to save them - even the ones that rejected him. For a few years later Philip the evangelist held a mighty campaign in Samaria and many people were saved, healed, delivered and baptized in the Holy Spirit speaking in other tongues just like it was on the day of Pentecost!
Go and learn this: how to have mercy on people.
All of us have people in our lives that disappoint us. We have those who hurt us. We have ones that rejected us and we have those who spoke all manner of lies against us. We have people who persecute us.
What do we do with all those people?
We must learn to have mercy on them.
That is what Jesus wants us to learn.
When you have mercy on someone you forgive them not because they deserve it, or because you feel like forgiving them, but you forgive them like God forgives us: for Christ’s sake. Because Jesus died for us, God forgives us if we believe in Jesus. This is how we become imitators of God.
The one that has mercy shows kindness to the one receiving mercy.
Let us look at a court case: the criminal is guilty and has to be convicted and sentenced. The court case is over, but the judge decides in the face of all evidence to have mercy on the
criminal. It makes no sense to the accuser in the court. It makes no sense to the public. But the judge decides to have mercy on the criminal and lets him go free. The criminal does not understand it either and walks out a free man. He was expecting to be sentenced and imprisoned, but he is set free because the judge had mercy on him.
When you show mercy to someone you set that person free from faults and failures committed against you. Grace creates space for mercy.
We live in a merciless world. An eye for an eye! That is how they speak.
In Ulster, Ireland, I walked through the town where Protestants and Catholics kill each other. One Catholic for one Protestant – is the slogan. If the Catholics kill a Protestant then the Protestants will kill a Catholic. I got shot at by a sniper on the roof of an apartment building on my way to church just outside the wall of Ulster! The bullet just missed me and went into the cement wall behind me. When I looked up the sniper ducked away on the roof.
But God is a merciful God and he wants his children to be merciful too. Without mercy a church is a cold and harsh place, just like the world out there. But a church should abound in grace and mercy.
Parents need to learn to have mercy on their children. Children need to learn to have mercy on parents, as they grow older. Husbands and wives should have mercy on each other. Pastors should have mercy on church members and church members on pastors.
There is a saying that Christians are the only people that kill their wounded soldiers…Christians are so harsh and unforgiving instead of being merciful towards each other. No one is perfect
yet, and if someone fails or makes a mistake or sins, mercy should prevail. Mercy rules over judgment. It is easy to judge someone that sinned or made a mistake. But we need to learn how to have mercy on each other. This is more like God. This is what Jesus wanted to teach his disciples: go and learn what this means: I prefer mercy to judgment.
If it were not for the mercy of God none of us would make it. And because God is merciful towards us, we can learn how to be merciful towards others. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only place where mercy will be found in the last days. Mercy is a precious commodity that money cannot buy. It is a demonstration of the love of God.
Who do you need to show mercy to? I am sure you see the person’s face before you right now! Just say: ‘I have mercy on you in the name of Jesus and forgive you for all you did.’ See what happens! A new light will dawn in your soul. A fresh peace will settle in your heart. Your memory will be cleared from all the cobwebs of the past! You will not only set the other person free, but you will go free as well! Don’t keep people prisoner of unforgiveness! Open the prison door for them. And let them go free. Jesus came to open the prison doors for those who are imprisoned and to set the captives free! The anointing that was on Jesus will be on you as well! You become a liberator instead of an enemy!
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13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (ESV)