← back to list

Apr 14, 2019

Grace and Mercy Ride In - Palm Sunday

Passage: Matthew 5:38-42

Speaker: Brian Land

Series: Sermon on the Mount

Category: Grace Brevard

Keywords: forgiveness, grace, justice, mercy, retaliation, revenge

Mercy is not getting what we deserve; Grace is getting what we don’t deserve. In this passage Jesus is inviting us into an altogether sacrificial love of others that must be based upon the sacrificial love he has given us on the cross where he took the punishment that we deserved while giving us the life, love and hope that we didn’t earn. With this in our hearts, we are enabled by the Spirit to forgive those that have sinned against us, even extending them extra love...the way we’ve been loved. The Gospel is absolutely not fair...thank God.

ORDER or WOrship

CALL TO WORSHIP: Matthew 21:1-11

LEADER: 1 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5 “Say to the daughter of Zion,

ALL: ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

LEADER: 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting,

ALL: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

LEADER: 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said,

ALL: “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

READING:  Romans 12:19-21

LEADER: 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

ALL: 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


PRAYER: Romans 5 Prayer

LEADER:  Merciful God, we confess our spiritual and moral weakness. We thank you Jesus, in giving Your life to rescue ours.

ALL:  While we were still sinners, You died for us.

LEADER: Christ Jesus, we praise you for purchasing our souls and destiny with your passion and blood. You loved us when we had only sin to offer.

ALL: If while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by Your death, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by Your life.

LEADER: Gracious Father, we humble ourselves in adoration for your great mercy and salvation.  Holy Spirit help us to:

ALL: Trust that we are reconciled through Christ alone.

Believe that we are infinitely loved as demonstrated through His sacrifice.

Trust that this love and mercy will compel us into the lives of friends and enemies.

Believe that You alone will make us instrumental in your Kingdom work.

MESSAGE: Grace and Mercy Ride In (Palm Sunday)

CENTRAL TEXT: Matthew 5:38-42

38 ‘You have heard that it was said, “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.” 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

RESPONSE: The Lord’s Prayer

ALL: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil

For Thine is the Kingdom

and the power and the glory

forever and ever Amen.

BENEDICTION: 1 Peter 2:23-24a

LEADER: 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.

ALL: 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.  


  • Leviticus 19:18
  • Deuteronomy 32:35
  • Romans 12:16-21
  • 1 Peter 2:21-25
  • Ephesians 4:31-32
  • Romans 5:8-10
  • Isaiah 50:6


4.14.19 Album


  1. What are ways our culture praises revenge? (think media)
  2. We have a God-given scale for justice -- that wrongs must be righted:
    1. What is your gut reaction when you are wronged? Why?
    2. What is your gut reaction when you are the wrong-doer?
  3. In this passage Jesus launches off the Old Testament rule of “eye for an eye” - this rule was actually LIMITING revenge -- keeping them from over-revenge by telling them to keep the penalty equal to the offense.
    1. How and why are we prone to over-revenge?
  4. The first point Jesus then makes is to show mercy...explain how mercy is “not getting what is deserved.”
    1. How does this play out with our “enemies”?
    2. WHO are our / your “enemies”?
  5. The second point is GRACE -- “getting what we don’t deserve.”
    1. Doesn’t this seem give grace to enemies?
    2. What might this even look like in real life?
    3. Sometimes we should NOT be reconciled with an enemy (e.g. if they are abusive) does this still apply to those times?
  6. The WHY and HOW of this impossible task is found in the Cross. How does seeing US as God’s enemies and what Jesus did impact our love?
  7. Talk about the MLK quote below regarding the reality and difficulty (and hopeful results) of loving your enemies.


  • “Well,” says Buck, “a feud is this way: A man has a quarrel with another man, and kills him; then that other man’s brother kills HIM; then the other brothers, on both sides, goes for one another; then the COUSINS chip in—and by and by everybody’s killed off, and there ain’t no more feud. But it’s kind of slow, and takes a long time.” - Buck to Huck in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • “This word is too high and too hard that anyone should fulfill it. This is proved, not merely by our Lord’s word, but by our own experience and feeling. Take any upright man or woman. He will get along very nicely with those who do not provoke him, but let someone proffer only the slightest irritation and he will flare up in anger... if not against friends, then against enemies. Flesh and blood cannot rise above it.” - Martin Luther
  • “I've seen too much hate to want to hate, myself, and every time I see it, I say to myself, hate is too great a burden to bear. Somehow we must be able to stand up against our most bitter opponents and say: We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will and we will still love you.... But be assured that we'll wear you down by our capacity to suffer, and one day we will win our freedom. We will not only win freedom for ourselves; we will appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory.” - Martin Luther King Jr.
  • “Evil will become powerless when it finds no opposing object, no resistance, but, instead, is willingly borne and suffered. Evil meets an opponent for which it is not a match.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • “At the heart of the cross is Christ’s stance of not letting the other remain an enemy and of creating space in himself for the offender to come in.” - Miroslav Volf
  • “When peace with our neighbor is banished from the heart on the matter of worldly possessions, it is plain that our estate is more loved than our neighbor.” - Gregory the Great



The Wisdom of the Gospel by Richard Pratt

1 Corinthians 1:18 - 2:5

Christ - The Power and Wisdom of God by Charles H. Spurgeon

1 Corinthians 1:24

On the Third Day (Easter) - Timothy J. Keller

1 Corinthians 15:1-14

The Way of Jesus: Retaliation - Jeff Vanderstelt

Matthew 5:38-42

Love Your Enemies - Timothy J. Keller

Luke 6:20-36