Mercy Sermon Illustrations

Mercy Sermon Illustrations

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Dr. Alexander Whyte used to tell how on one occasion he went into a solicitor's office and was asked if he had any message for an old sinner. Staggered by the utterance, he repeated the text he had chosen for his next sermon. 'He delighteth in mercy,' and was thanked for the only word that could have afforded comfort. The verse overflows with kindness.

(Mic. 7. 18)


A mother sought from Napoleon the pardon of her son. The Emperor said it was the man's second offence, and justice demanded his death.

`I don't ask for justice,' said the mother, 'I plead for mercy.'

`But,' said the Emperor, 'he does not deserve mercy.'

`Sir,' cried the mother, 'it would not be mercy if he deserved it, and mercy is all I ask.'

`Well, then,' said the Emperor, 'I will have mercy.' And her son was saved.

This little incident gives us a good idea of the meaning of mercy. We think of clemency as another word for mercy, but mercy is the `gracious attitude of one who sits in the seat of authority toward one who has given offence by breaking of the law, or by some violation of those canons of conduct which constitute offence'. This is at least part of its meaning.

Grace is the unmerited favor of God toward the undeserving: mercy is His pitying kindness toward the hell-deserving. Grace bestows what we do not deserve: mercy does not mete out to us what we deserve.

(Exod. 34. 6, 7; Mic. 6. 8; Heb. 4. 16)


Blind Bartimaeus at the gates
Of Jericho in darkness waits.
He hears the crowd—he hears a breath
Say, 'It is Christ of Nazareth!'
And calls in tones of agony­—
‘Iesou eleeson me.'

The thronging multitudes increase,
`Blind Bartimaeus, hold your peace.'
But still, above the noisy crowd,
The beggar's cry is shrill and loud,
Until they say, 'He calleth thee.'
`Tharsei, egerai, phonei se.'

That said the Christ, as silent stands
The crowd, 'What wilt thou at my hands?'
And he replied, 'O give me light!
Rabbi, restore the blind man's sight!'
And Jesus answers, 'Hupage
He pistis sou sesike se.'

Ye that have eyes, yet cannot see
In darkness and in misery,
Recall these mighty voices three,
‘Iesou, eleeson me!'
`Tharsei, egeirai hupage!'
`He pistis sou sesike se.'—H. W. Longfellow

(Mark 10. 46-52)


God hath stores of mercy lying by Him;
His exchequer is never empty.—Charnock


When all thy mercies, O my God,
My rising soul surveys,
Transported with the view I'm lost,
In wonder, love and praise.—Addison


When Thomas Hooker was dying, one present said to him, "You are going to receive the reward of your labors." He replied, "I am going to receive mercy."—Selected

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