Our God is merciful—withholding from his elect what they rightly deserve. Our God is also gracious—bestowing what is unmerited on sinful humanity. After Peter denied Jesus in John 18, Jesus graciously met Peter with breakfast in John 21. Peter had heard Jesus say, “everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32). Peter rightly deserved to be rejected by Jesus before his Father. Jesus, however, commissioned Peter to feed his sheep—to acknowledge Him before men. What mercy!
God displays this same type of mercy in Genesis 43. After being betrayed by his brothers, Joseph (the Christ figure) mercifully does not give them what they deserve—death. Instead, he graciously sustains their lives by giving them lunch.
The same mercy and grace are extended to us as well. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” when we should have died. “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood (grace), much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God” (mercy). So we “rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now [mercifully and graciously] received reconciliation (Romans 5:7, 9, 11).
Spend your time this week reading and meditating on God’s word. Think specifically on the mercy and grace you have been given in Christ. Must we now acknowledge him before men? We encourage you to even break these passages up throughout the week for daily devotions, ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Scriptures for you, and use a study bible to help provide understanding.
Read John 18:1-11
Read John 18:12-27
Read John 21:1-14