You know that feeling when you put on your new shoes for the very first time? They look so clean and the whole world shines a little bit brighter. It’s wonderful. Until something happens and your new kicks get scuffed, or muddy. Then the feeling is gone. You work hard to keep those shoes looking good.
Sam was a seventh-grader who, by all accounts, was a nice guy. Perhaps he occasionally stood too close to people, but all in all, he was a good kid. That day he was standing next to Desmond, who was brandishing a brand new pair of sneakers. Naturally, Sam, standing too close accidentally stepped on Desmond’s shoe. The sound of desmond shouting, “My shoes!” caught the attention of the whole class.
It was at that moment that everything went into slow motion as Desmond began throwing a fury of punches in Sam’s direction. Sam instinctively threw his arms up to protect his face and shouted, “What the–“. Well, I won’t repeat exactly what he said, but he may have referenced a place full of burning flames and fire.
His curse drew the attention of the teacher who immediately stood and shouted, “Stop this now! There will be no profanity in my classroom” The teacher then wrote Sam up for cursing and sent him off to the dean’s office. Desmond simply returned to his seat.
I sat there in my twelve-year-old mind as perplexed as I had ever been.
Is cursing a greater sin than throwing punches at another student? It wasn’t even one of the bad ones?! (Not that any cursing is ok.) How can the mild profanity deserve greater punishment than punching someone? I couldn’t wrap my mind around the injustice of the situation!
How do you feel when someone deserves punishment and doesn’t get it? I find it very frustrating when someone does not get what they deserve. Unless it happens to be me. I expect people to be understanding of myself, but don’t always offer that same understanding to others.
Maybe you can relate.. Have you ever been angry when someone did not receive the punishment they deserved? Have you ever known a Christain who for sure didn’t deserve to be forgiven? Maybe you’re reading this and there have been moments when you were certain you didn’t deserve to be forgiven. Next week we will be addressing these thoughts.
Here is the big idea.
Jesus shows mercy instead of judgement, even to the one who deserved to die.
THINK ABOUT THIS:
- Have you ever felt like you weren’t good enough to be forgiven? Why did you think that?
- Is it easy for you to show others mercy? Why or why not?
PRAY: Lord, help me to recognize Your mercy in my life and extend that mercy to others.
Hebrews 4:12-16 (NLT) For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.
14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Ephesians 2:1-10 (NLT) Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world.[a] He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us longago.