According to the Bible Memory Verse, who will God be merciful toward? (
Anyone that calls out to Him.)
God's offer of mercy seems almost too good to be true.
- Why would anyone not want God's mercy?
- Is there anyone who does not need God's mercy? Why or why not? (We all need God's mercy because we all sin.)
How does knowing that God is merciful make you feel about Him?
- What did we do to earn God's mercy? (Nothing, we just need to accept it.)
- NOTE: If you have to earn it, it is not mercy.
Jesus tells a parable (a story that is told to help teach something) about a Pharisee and a publican. Pharisees were religious leaders. Many of them became focused on obeying rules rather than having a relationship with God.
Publicans (or tax collectors) were considered traitors by their own people (the Jews). They worked with the Romans to collect taxes from the Jews, and many of them forced the Jews to give more than was required so that they could keep the extra. You and I would call that stealing!
Listen to what Jesus had to say about them in
"Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
Which of the two men needed God's mercy? (
Both the Pharisee and the tax collector.)
- Who received God's mercy? (The tax collector.)
- Why did the tax collector receive mercy while the Pharisee didn't? (The tax collector was humbled before God and recognized and admitted his sin. The Pharisee would not admit his sin and had a prideful attitude.)
- What do we need to do to receive mercy? (Accept Jesus' payment for our sin and admit that we did something wrong.)
WHY DOES THIS MATTER:
We all need mercy. Because God is Merciful, there is a way to receive it if we will ask.
We all need mercy, but not everyone receives it.
Thank God for showing you that you need for His mercy.