17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
I remember the days in high-school where I would play a game of ‘Mercy’. I would face my friend standing up and we would interlock our fingers and thumbs with each other. We then would start and try to bend back the opponents hand backwards, inflicting pain by straining their wrist. The player who is in the losing position will cry out “Mercy!” to state that they give up. In the MMA world, that would be like a tap-out on a submission hold.
This passage reminds us that the love and mercy of Jesus awaits us and will result in eternal life. We were at that breaking point when we were confronted with our sins and what it did to Jesus on the cross. He took on my sin and became the scapegoat for me so that I can have a relationship with God. I don’t remember yelling mercy to God, but by confessing that Jesus will be my Lord, I am essentially tapping out and submitting to God. As years go on, I need to be reminded of God’s mercy and how God wants me to also show mercy to others. I should not be judging others, but show mercy just as God demonstrated his mercy through Jesus Christ.