Monday, March 01, 2010

Doing Mercy

Luke 10:37
(37)  He said, "The one who showed him mercy." And Jesus said to him, "You go, and do likewise."

(37)  ὁ δὲ εἶπεν, Ὁ ποιήσας τὸ ἔλεος μετ' αὐτοῦ. εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Πορεύου καὶ σὺ ποίει ὁμοίως.

This is Jesus' statement at the end of the Parable of the Good Samaritan.  I don't think I need to repeat the whole parable because you probably know it.  Of course, it's always worth pointing out that it was a hated Samaritan who had mercy on the man, not the priest or Levite.  That's worth considering.

However, what I want to point out is something that doesn't translate perfectly.  The phrase  Ὁ ποιήσας τὸ ἔλεος μετ' αὐτοῦ could very woodenly be translated as "the one who did mercy with him."  That is not very pretty English, but it is a very strict translation.  I point this out because I think we need to remember that mercy is something we do.

This cuts me to the core.  It's not just something I think.  It's not a feeling I have.  It's not even an attitude.  It comes down to something that I do.  There are a lot of good mercy ministries out there.  Of course, there are lots of folks who "do mercy," but don't have any kind of tie to the gospel.  The ultimate mercy is to tell someone about the gospel.

Where are you?  Are you "doing mercy?"  Or are you just thinking about how important it is?  We do at least one small thing by supporting an orphan through World Vision.  However, there is so much more out there to do.  If you are "doing mercy," is your motivation centered on the gospel or because you're trying to earn points with God?  It's important to assess our hearts as we do this too.  Nevertheless, I think that someone fed with the wrong motives still has a full belly.  However, I'd hate for you to read this and not consider the heart.

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