Be merciful to those who doubt. (Jude 22)
Father Chris stood there silently as the young man lashed out at him, questioning the goodness of a God who could let innocent people suffer all over the earth. Questioning how Father Chris could support such a God. Eventually, the young man broke down in tears and buried his face in his hands. Father Chris gently put his hand on the young man’s shoulder and wept with him. Those around Father Chris wondered how he could be so calm and compassionate with someone so angry. Father Chris’ response was simple, “As God has shown me great mercy when I cry out to him in anger and frustration, I am called to show others the same mercy.”
In response to the ungodly lifestyles of the false teachers, Jude’s recommendation for his readers is surprising. He urged them to keep themselves in love of God as they wait on the mercy of Jesus, and, in return, to show mercy to those who doubt. The answer to the rampant ungodliness, both inside and outside the church, is mercy. This surprising recommendation of Jude is a central theme of the New Testament. Mercy, not anger or vengeance, transforms. Mercy stops hate in its tracks. Jesus modeled this mercy time and time again and challenges us to heal a world full of hate and strife with the same mercy.
As God shows mercy to us, let us show mercy to others.
Mark Moore PhD is an associate professor of theology at William Jessup University and the spiritual formation pastor at Faith Legacy Church in Sacramento, California.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.