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Mercy, Peace, and Love (Jude 2)
by Gino Geraci
3/07/2007 / Bible Studies
"Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you" (Jude 2, NKJV).
The Greek word for mercy is eleos. Eleos is the outward manifestation of pity; it assumes need on the part of him who receives it, and resources adequate to meet the need on the part of the one who shows it. Thus mercy is always given to those in need by someone who has the ability and resources to meet the need. Mercy is more than something God gives us; it is also something He expects from us. Mercy is in part mutual kindness owed in mutual relationships.
Before the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus was asked the question, "Who is my neighbor?" He gave the example of a complete stranger who came upon a man who had been beaten and robbed. The stranger acted with kindness to the man beaten. In the same way, God demonstrates His mercy to people who are unaware of His mercy. This mercy is demonstrated through Jesus Christ. It is the element that is needed when judgment is inevitable.Salvation comes as a direct result of God's mercy.
We are told in Matthew 5:7 that those who are merciful will be blessed, because they will obtain mercy, and in Jude 21 we read that we should look for the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ. Mercy both for ourselves and others, is something we should actively pursue and embrace.
With the exception of Galatians 6:16, whenever the words mercy and peace are found together as they are in Jude 2, they are found in that order; mercy precedes peace. Mercy is an act of God toward us. Peace is what results in the human heart as a result of God's mercy poured out on us.
I read once about when Frederick II of Prussia went on an inspection tour of a Berlin prison, he was greeted with the cries of prisoners, who fell on their knees and protested their unjust imprisonment. While listening to these pleas of innocence, Frederick's eye was caught by a solitary figure in the corner, a prisoner seemingly unconcerned with all the commotion. "Why are you here?" Frederick asked him. "Armed robbery, Your Majesty." "Were you guilty?" the king asked. "Oh yes, indeed, Your Majesty. I entirely deserve my punishment." At that Frederick summoned the jailer. "Release this guilty man at once," he said. "I will not have him kept in this prison where he will corrupt all the fine innocent people who occupy it." (Quote taken from an article by Lloyd H. Steffen in The Christian Century, April 29,1987.)
Peace is the Greek word, eirene. It occurs in each of the New Testament books with the exception of First John. Peace means the absence of conflict between nations and people and God.
Love is the very familiar word, agape, which speaks of the attitude of God toward His Son (John 17:26); it is the word the Bible uses to describe the nature of God and the will of God. Love can only be known by the actions it prompts. God's love is seen in the gift of His Son Jesus Christ. Agape love, or what you might call Christian love, has God as both object and subject and is both a source and motivator. Love expresses itself in obedience to God's revealed commands. Christian love, whether expressed toward believers or unbelievers, is not an impulse based on feelings, but rather a commitment to see and do what's right toward that person.
The book of Jude reminds us we are in a battle. Mercy, peace and love are words worth fighting for!
Copyright by Gino Geraci
Gino Geraci is pastor of Calvary South Denver ( www.calvarycsd.org ). His radio broadcasts can be listened to live, M-F from 4:00 - 6:00 pm MST on www.krks.com. He can be contacted by emailing [email protected] .
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