“Be Merciful, even as your Father is merciful” – Luke 6:36
So what is God like? If someone asks you what God is like, what do you say? You might say mighty or powerful or omnipotent (if you did well with vocab in Confirmation Class). But that doesn’t really say much about what God is like – lots of people are strong, some for good and some for ill. You might say He’s the Creator – but if someone thinks their life stinks on ice, they might just be rather angry at their Creator. We could say He’s awesome or that He’s love – but what does that mean?
Jesus gives us a better and more direct answer. God is merciful. If you want to understand God, if you want to know what makes Him tick, the answer is mercy. His strength, His might, His creation and awesome love are all tied and focused together into this great truth: your Father is merciful. And everything that He does is shaped and formed towards showing you mercy, towards forgiving your sins in Christ Jesus.
And if you don’t look at God as merciful, you won’t understand anything. You’ll turn the Bible into a judgy-condemny book. You’ll be a blind man just dragging other people into pits with you. You’ll be a busybody complaining about specks when you have a log in your own eye. But when there is mercy – when you see how great a log has been forgiven you, then you will be ready to show mercy, to live in the mercy that God has for you.
Because Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn it but to save it, to show it mercy. And likewise, we are shown mercy by God not so that we can be arrogant jerks to the sinners, but so that we can show them mercy. So that we can show them Christ crucified for them, for their sin, to give them life. If you want to know what makes God tick – the answer is mercy, the mercy shown forth by your Crucified Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.