SUBJ: Mercy as an
attribute of God that is to be learned by both Holy Spirit instruction
and experience in the redemptive process.
AIM: That we might learn
and teach others the meaning of mercy as it is in Christ and that we may
bear witness to knowing His mercy.
INTR: The call of Matthew
occasioned a precious declaration concerning the terms of salvation and
the necessity of mercy if fact and in practice.
1. Matthew, like many
others, seemed to be an unlikely candidate for salvation. He is, also, a
prime example of the application of the mercy of God.
2. We know of
the mercy of God. We must learn its meaning and that from a personal
3. Here, we are given a clear mandate - "go and learn."
THESIS: There is no way, other than mercy, through which we are
brought to Christ our Lord and salvation.
I. A challenged
association (vv. 9-12)
1. The fact that Matthew was a publican was
distressing to and a cause for question in the minds of many.
we note that His call to Matthew attracted many who were "sinners."
3. Of course, this activity drew the attention of the "righteous."
It is probable that they knew the scripture He quoted, but it is certain
they did not understand it.
II. Learning the Meaning (v. 13)
1. From an old Webster's dictionary: That benevolence, mildness or
tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to
treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers
justice and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and
injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice
will warrant. In this sense, there is perhaps no word in our language
precisely synonymous with mercy. That which comes nearest to it is
grace. It implies benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity or compassion,
and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders. Mercy is a
distinguishing attribute of the Supreme Being.
2. The accusation from
our Lord is clear that they and the many did not know. Similar behavior
betrays the lack of such knowledge.
3. Mercy and Not sacrifice: two
1) Mercy as a work acceptable with God: Matthew 5:7 Blessed
are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
2) That which God
delights to do in bringing many sons to glory.
4. God delights in
mercy in that it enables Him to come to us with forgiveness and
1) Many see themselves as first coming to Him.
may show mercy because we are in the same condemnation.
3) But God is
Holy and any display of goodness to sinners comes with a price
Thus, to understand mercy we must understand the sacrifice He provided
(He could not accept their sacrifice because they believed it was
5) But it also shows the intensity of His determination to
redeem His people - Christ received what we deserve.
III. Not the
righteous, but sinners (v. 13b)
1. God's mercy will be embraced by
those who know their need.
2. The quote: "For I desired mercy, and
not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings."(Hosea 6:6)
3. The implication is that a true consciousness of the
awfulness of sin reveals the absolute need of mercy.
1) This sense is
not arrived at through a logical process (the methodology of the many)
2) Repentance is a call from the Lord to a proper experience of one's "undoneness" and only in this state can we learn the meaning of
and not sacrifice."
4. All who truly hear that call come and so we
echo the message we hear here. The call is to those who have had their
condition revealed to them.
5. Learning the meaning of "mercy and not
sacrifice" is a lifelong process and the results of such mercy are
enjoyed through all eternity.
6. Thus, we are told - "go and