Jesus’ Mercy: Matthew 15:22, 28
Jesus demonstrated royal mercy by imitating God’s compassion toward his creatures. He showed forbearance when people sinned. He understood their weakness. He provided for them. And he granted them relief from their suffering.
We’ll look at the way Jesus demonstrated his mercy in two spheres, beginning with the international arena. On an international level, the king was to apply mercy to the nations and people that submitted to God. And Jesus did this in several ways. For one thing, he provided miraculous healing for many Gentiles, who were outside the nation of Israel. For example, he healed the daughter of a Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:28. He healed the servant of a Roman centurion in Matthew 8:13. And he exorcised a legion of demons from a man in the Gentile region of the Decapolis in Mark 5:1-20.
Moreover, Jesus ministered in several Gentile areas, including Tyre, Sidon and the Decapolis, so that his message and works became a light of revelation to the Gentiles, as Simeon had prophesied would happen in Luke 2:32.
But even more obvious than his international mercy was the royal mercy that Jesus displayed on a national level. As the king, Jesus was responsible to treat God’s people in the same way that God would have treated them. And this meant treating them mercifully. The ideal king was a merciful one that reflected God’s own pattern of care. Jesus showed tremendous mercy to Israel as their king. He spent years patiently instructing and exhorting them. He performed countless miracles — healing their diseases, casting out demons, creating food for the hungry, and even raising the dead.
But perhaps the miracle that best showcases his royal mercy is the healing of the paralytic man, which is recorded in Matthew 9:1-7, Mark 2:1-11, and Luke 5:17-25. In that instance, Jesus not only healed the man’s paralysis, but he actually forgave his sins. And he did something similar in Luke 7:36-50, where he forgave the sins of the woman who anointed his feet with perfume.