Bible Reading: Mark 10:46-52
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. Mark 10:51
Here is a report of what happened in Jericho one day, based on what Scripture tells us. (We added the part about the mayor.)
City leaders, Jesus, and a big crowd listen to the mayor of Jericho as they jostle one another through the gate on the road to Jerusalem. “And so we want to express our thanks to you, Jesus, for your brief visit—”
A rustling at the back of the crowd interrupts the speaker. “Jesus, Son of David,” a man yells, “have mercy on me!”
“Shut up, you blind fool,” one of the important men growls over his shoulder.
The mayor looks at Jesus nervously and continues, “We want to thank—”
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” This time the voice from outside the circle is loud and demanding.
“Hush, old beggar!” several people join in harshly. But Jesus is visibly moved by the plea. He calls the blind beggar named Bartimaeus forward and heals him.
What caused Jesus to turn his attention away from the crowd to a persistent, blind beggar? Maybe it was the man’s cry for mercy. “Mercy” is compassion that causes a person to provide relief for someone in misery. A “merciful” person is someone who feels the hurts of others and relieves those hurts.
Groups like the Red Cross show mercy with huge, organized programs. But we can show mercy in simple acts like comforting and bandaging a littler brother or sister who has skinned a knee. Or listening to a friend’s problems. Or helping out a parent whose workload is overwhelming.
God said about himself, “I am the Lord, the merciful and gracious God” (Exodus 34:6). And Moses said about God, “The Lord your God is merciful” (Deuteronomy 4:31). Since Jesus was God in a human body, it’s no surprise that mercy was one of the major characteristics of his earthly ministry. His heart of mercy was moved by the suffering of people—and his power allowed him to heal and free people from their hurts.
There’s no pain, fear, or loneliness that Jesus doesn’t understand. When you come to him crying, “Master, I need help,” Christ answers you with compassion. Sometimes you spot his kind deeds when he supernaturally fixes someone’s body, like he did for Bartimaeus. Other times you spot him through the caring of a Christian friend. Jesus had a whole bunch of mercy for poor Bartimaeus, and God has the same great mercy in store for you when you run to him for help.
TALK: In what area of life do you need God’s mercy? Have you cried out to him for help?
PRAY: Tell God today about your deepest needs—and trust him to meet them.
ACT: Be like Jesus today. Show a friend or family member a heap of heavenly mercy!