Mercifully Faithful

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Matthew 9:9–13; Luke 10:25–37; James 2:5–13

“For I desire ful love and not ,
  the knowledge of rather than burnt offerings.”
     — Hosea 6:6 (CSB)

It’s inteing that the same translation, the CSB, translates Hosea 6:6 with ful love, while in Matthew 9:13 it’s mercy. What makes it even more inteing is that the same used for “ful love” in Hebrew is also used for “mercy”.

In the context of Hosea, “ful love” makes sense for the wayward Israelites. One of the issues, though, for the Israelites was that they did not show mercy to the orphans and widows (or, it seems, anyone else).

One could then conclude (reasonably) that the issue is that one of the ways that the Israelites did not show “ful love” by not showing “mercy” to those who desperately needed it. It should not be lost on us that ful love is mercy, and mercy is ful love.

The world could use a lot more mercy. Imagine being merciful to your enemies…any of your enemies. They could be political, family, religious, national, tribal, even sports teams. Enemies aren’t just those we perceive as being our opposites.

Sports teams are the perfect example. Some you know probably like a sports team that you don’t (if you’re into sports). There can be times when sports fan bls into tribal then into gang behavior. Football (i.e., soccer) had “hooligan” troubles for many years. Team fans would riot at games and after games, trying to harm each other. Troubling or harming a fan based on their team is certainly not merciful.

As we delve into politics, everyone’s favorite topic, being merciful to people who seem to be on the opposite side of you is a Christian . They love their families, too. What if they love Jesus? Then it’s even more important in many ways.

These days, being merciful means NOT ing to that social media statement, or too snarky comments made in the same tone that it was delivered. If you must (which may be necessary), it should be, “While I love you, we don’t see things in this area the same.” One would that this would be taken well. However, it’s not your responsibility for how they take a lovingly gentle .

※Questions※

1) What are your thoughts and feelings regarding ful love as mercy, and mercy as ful love?

2) While it sounds strange, how might we show mercy to ?

3) What are ways that you show and can show mercy to others (hint: think beyond “com”)?

※Prayer※

Merciful Father, we thank you for your mercy, personified by the life, death, and resurrection of Your Son Jesus. May we show that same spirit of mercy to the world through our ful love. Amen.

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.