There are 467 occurrences of the word ‘mercy’ in the NT.
The biblical concept of mercy always involves help to those who are in need or distress.(Holman Bible Dictionary)
God’s mercy is extended to us to rescue us, to pull us out of the muck, mire, mush. We are miserable in our wrong-doing, in our junk, and He has His hands extended out to us to pull us out. That is mercy.
Greek words for mercy: In the New Testament “mercy” (eleos, usually the Septuagint translation of checedh) is associated with “grace” (charis) in the apostolical greetings and elsewhere. Trench points out that the difference between them is that the freeness of God’s love is the central point of charis, while eleos has in view misery and its relief; charis is His free grace and gift displayed in the forgiveness of sins-extended to men as they are guilty; His eleos (is extended to them) as they are miserable. The lower creation may be the object of His mercy (eleos), but man alone of His grace (charis); he alone needs it and is capable of receiving it (Synonyms of the New Testament, 163).
One of the words in the NT for mercy is Splagchna, which refers to the upper organs, the heart, the lungs. It implies strong emotional feelings, particularly compassion and affection. It was ‘splagchna’ that Jesus had to heal the blind in Matthew 20:34, the multitudes in Matthew 9:36, for the widow in Luke 7:13. Splagchna was the mercy, the deep emotional feeling that the father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son had,
Matthew 9:27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, shouting, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”
When He entered the house, the blind men approached Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they answered Him.
Then He touched their eyes, saying, “Let it be done for you according to your faith!” And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus warned them sternly, “Be sure that no one finds out!”But they went out and spread the news about Him throughout that whole area.
It was Jesus’ mercy that eased their suffering, their blindness. In those days in their culture, the blind were nearly outcasts. All they could do was beg for money. They were the social outcasts. No one wanted to be cast out. If parents had a baby born blind, they could be cast out of the community, and so they avoided the issue. Even religious leaders, the ones who fell sick, would not confess to it in order to avoid being cast out. But here is Jesus, healer of the sick, healer of the blind, the merciful. He came and broke the paradigms, He came in loving us, and freeing us out of our suffering by giving us His mercy-bomb. He gives mercy to us.
Luke 18:9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else:”Two men went up to the temple complex to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee took his stand and was praying like this: ‘God, I thank You that I’m not like other people-greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’
“But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, turn Your wrath from me-a sinner!’
I tell you, this one went down to his house justified rather than the other; because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
This reveals God’s readiness to give mercy, He was willing to rescue, to restore, to redeem the man asking. Mercy wasn’t shown to the prideful man, it was shown to the poured-out man. The one who received the mercy-bomb was the one asking for forgiveness, and God readily gave it.
Ultimately, God’s mercy was revealed to us in Jesus. We needed to be rescued
Some years back I was a lifeguard, and I spent hours watching the water, watching people swim and play. Lap pools were the most boring to guard, but it was hours spent, watching water, and watching people in the water. And as a lifeguard you made split decisions, to jump in and rescue or throw the tube, notify the team within the facility. Often-times there was a look, just one look and you knew, GO!
Some of us may have the look, we need mercy, we are going through stuff, problems, and we need Jesus’ help, which He is more than willing to give. Jesus is the lifeguard.
Jesus has already rescued us due to what He did on the cross, but at times we push away from His rescue tube, still flailing and drowning.
We need His mercy-bomb, everyone needs His mercy-bomb.