when the report was heard in pharaoh’s house, “joseph’s brothers have come,” it pleased pharaoh and his servants. and pharaoh said to joseph, “say to your brothers, ‘do this: load your beasts and go back to the land of canaan, and take your father and your households, and come to me, and i will give you the best of the land of egypt, and you shall eat the fat of the land.’ and you, joseph, are commanded to say, ‘do this: take wagons from the land of egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. have no concern for your goods, for the best of all the land of egypt is yours.’”
the sons of israel did so: and joseph gave them wagons, according to the command of pharaoh, and gave them provisions for the journey. to each and all of them he gave a change of clothes, but to benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver and five changes of clothes. to his father he sent as follows: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and provision for his father on the journey. then he sent his brothers away, and as they departed, he said to them, “do not quarrel on the way.”
so they went up out of egypt and came to the land of canaan to their father jacob. and they told him, “joseph is still alive, and he is ruler over all the land of egypt.” and his heart became numb, for he did not believe them. but when they told him all the words of joseph, which he had said to them, and when he saw the wagons that joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father jacob revived. and israel said, “it is enough; joseph my son is still alive. i will go and see him before i die.” [genesis 45:16-28]
what is a compelling gospel witness to a dying world?
mercy instead of vengeance.
in 2019, brandt jean showed radical mercy towards his brother bothan jean’s killer amber guyger at her sentencing–in his statement, he voiced his love, mercy and forgiveness–then stated that “giving her life to Christ was the best thing that bothan would have wanted her to do.” he then made a request to hug amber to demonstrate his love, mercy and forgiveness towards her. this act of mercy was broadcast on every national news channel and reverberated through social media–and acted as a powerful testimony to a God who bestows his mercy on us, no matter what we have done. the message that brandt delivered was a call for amber to repent and believe in our merciful savior Jesus, but also to every person within the sound of his voice–it was a call that went out to millions.
the world is watching Christians, to see if our actions line up with our words. i know i fall short of showing compassion and mercy for others who have wronged me, but mercy should overflow, because i have been shown great mercy.
meditate today on the following questions:
- do i believe that it is God who has the right to show mercy on who he pleases?
and he said, “i will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And i will be gracious to whom i will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom i will show mercy. [exodus 33:19]
- do i believe that i need to be shown mercy?
in the narrative of the sinful woman who anoints Jesus’ feet with her tears in luke 7:36-50, Jesus ends with this statement:
“therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” [luke 7:48]
the implication is not that the pharisee judging her (as well as the others around) were not very sinful–the implication here is that the woman was more aware of her sin, and it resulted in love of Christ. the pharisee was self righteous, and felt that he needed no mercy because he was justified by the law, or had simply placed his sin on a different level and was standing above the “sort of woman” and her brand of sin. are you aware of your sin?
- am i desperate for God’s mercy?
and they came to jericho. and as he was leaving jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” and many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” [mark 10:47-48]
- do i show others mercy out of the overflow?
“judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. [luke 6:37-38]
the world is watching. radical mercy that points to Christ is compelling–he has other sheep and he is calling them to himself, one of the ways that he does it is through the mercy that we show that flows from the mercy we have been shown.
Jesus, have mercy on us! let us show your mercy to the world around us!