God Is Good to Give Mercy (Luke 18)
In Luke 18, Jesus shared several parables and encounters to illustrate the richness and surprising nature of God’s mercy toward sinners. From the widow, to the tax collector, to the blind man, Jesus repeatedly proved Himself to be a merciful Savior who takes great joy in extending the hand of mercy to the most unlikely of people.
Throughout the Bible, we discover that God is merciful. We see it in His gracious act to preserve Noah and his family from the flood, in the kindness of God to provide a lamb so Abraham would not have to sacrifice his son Isaac, in Jesus’ kindness toward Peter even after his denial, and so much more. God is clearly merciful.
In Luke 18:6-8, we see that the question of God’s mercy is really no question at all. “Will not God grant justice to his elect who cry out to him day and night? Will he delay helping them? I tell you that he will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
The question is not, ‘Will God show justice and mercy?’ The question instead is, ‘Will God find faith?’
In Hebrews 11:1, we find this explanation of faith: “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.” If God’s mercy is shown to people of faith, we must cling tightly to that which is unseen—namely to the work of God in the world. We must grasp that there is an invisible God who has made Himself visible through Jesus Christ. And we must not forget that it is by grace that we are saved, through faith.
The mercy of God, though undeserved, should not be surprising. People with faith in the invisible God, who works in ways that bring great delight to His people, can have great confidence that God will show mercy. And that mercy is ours to be enjoyed because of the finished work of Christ.
As you consider God’s wondrous acts of mercy, let it stir up faith. And as faith arises in your own heart, be reminded that you will receive mercy as well.
Check out The Gospel Project At Home for resources designed to help you lead a family worship experience as well as suggestions for morning and evening prayer times and family activities.
FAMILY TALKING POINTS
This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.
- Toddlers: God will forgive our wrong choices because of Jesus.
- Preschool: Everyone has sinned and needs God’s mercy and forgiveness. We can ask God for forgiveness and because of Jesus, God will forgive our sin.
- Kids: The tax collector knew he needed God to forgive him, and he cried out to God. Everyone is a sinner who needs God’s mercy and forgiveness. Jesus took the punishment for our sin by dying on the cross. We can cry out to God like the tax collector and because of Jesus, God will have mercy on us.
BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER
This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.
- What is mercy? Mercy is when God does not give us the punishment that we deserve.
This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.
- Toddlers: The Lord is a kind and loving God. Exodus 34:6
- Preschool: The LORD is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love and truth. Exodus 34:6
- Kids: The LORD—the LORD is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love and truth, maintaining faithful love to a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin. Exodus 34:6-7
** Next week: Jeroboam Disobeyed God (1 Kings 12–13)
Other Resources: @Home Family Worship Guides for Unit 12