What Jesus Did! 'Shouldn't You Have Mercy?' — Matthew 18:31-33

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

[Talking about being forgiving, Jesus continued,] "When some of the other servants saw [that the servant who had been forgiven a tremendous debt didn't forgive another servant who owed him much less], they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, 'You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn't you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?' Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

"That's what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart."

— Matthew 18:31-33 NLT

Key Thought

Mercy! More than an exclamation, it is the reason for exclamation! Mercy, sweet mercy. It is the gift of freedom from our past, our failures, our wickedness. But it is a gift because in receiving it, we acknowledge that we have received something we didn't deserve and that we received it without the person giving it to us expecting us to grovel. Mercy! But more than just the reason for exclamation and joy, mercy is our gift to share. Mercy has not completed its redemptive work until it is passed on, until we see the joy of another being granted his or her freedom. Mercy is essential in God's Kingdom. Mercy is music in God's family. Mercy is the basis of our hope. Mercy is the gift of God we are to share with others.

Today's Prayer

Merciful Father and Almighty King, thank you for delivering me in your grace, saving me by your sacrifice, and including me in your family by your mercy. May my life be a conduit of your mercy to others. In Jesus' holy name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 5:7
  • Matthew 23:23-24
  • James 2:12-13; 3:13-18


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Illustration of Matthew 18:31-33 NLT —  Shouldn't you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.