Key Verse

The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.
— Proverbs 11:17


Matthew 5:6-9,38-48; 18:23-35

Matthew 5:6-9,38-48; 18:23-35

Mercy is an attribute essential to Christian living, and unless we extend mercy, we will not receive it. Mercy shows compassion and forbears punishment, even when justice demands it. Mercy extends help to the lowly and even the undeserving.


  1. In your own words, describe mercy. Give an example, either from the Bible or from personal knowledge, of one who has practiced this attribute.
  2. God requires mercy in the lives of His children (Micah 6:8). What are the rewards for possessing this attribute?
  3. Why is it that our own acts of mercy cannot save us, if the merciful shall obtain mercy? See Titus 3:5.
  4. The parable of the Good Samaritan is a well-known example in the Bible of one who showed mercy. Read Luke 10:33-37, then write what specific actions the Good Samaritan did in order to offer mercy. In what ways might being merciful require our time, money, or personal effort?
  5. In our text, what was the servant’s attitude when the king demanded payment of the debt?
  6. How did the king react when the servant had nothing with which to pay the debt? Contrast his reaction to God’s forgiveness of the debt of sin.
  7. After the servant had been forgiven his debt, he put a fellow servant into prison for a small debt. This was obviously an unmerciful act. Name some ways in which a person might be unmerciful, though not necessarily outwardly so.
  8. If you had been the king, what would your attitude have been toward the unmerciful servant? What are some ways you might be able to show mercy?