A demon-possessed, blind and mute person was brought to Jesus, and He healed Him. The formerly blind and mute person now spoke and saw to everybody’s amazement. Everyone, except a group of religious leaders! They purposely came up with a different explanation (Matthew 12:24):
“Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, ‘This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.’”
Religious leaders are supposed to know God, and they would fight you tooth and nail if you said otherwise. I personally doubt that Jesus’ contemporaries who critiqued His every move really knew God because their behavior did not advertise His intentions at all. However, the trick is, they say so. Saying we know God on one hand and misinterpreting God’s deeds on the other insults the Holy Spirit, and for such behavior, Jesus says, there is no forgiveness left. Why? Well, here is a surprise: because we think we are right! God cannot forgive a person who is right. This seems to be the only limit to God’s mercy.
Similar to the situation with a tax collector and a religious leader who both prayed in the temple: the tax collector prayed for forgiveness, while the religious leader didn’t think he needed any forgiveness but essentially congratulated himself in his prayer. Jesus points out that these two prayers have two very different outcomes (Luke 18:14):
[Jesus says] “I tell you, this man went to his home justified [forgiven of the guilt of sin and placed in right standing with God] rather than the other man;”
The only lid we can put on God’s mercy is ourselves. We can be the lid. We have the power to limit God’s mercy by simply stating: “I don’t need it.”
On a different note: do you think we have issues with mercy when we always try to find a reason NOT to forgive? Why do we try so hard to find boundary lines to God’s amazing grace, e.g.: “this is how far God’s mercy goes, surely God can’t forgive that!” Isn’t it interesting that we like to use the term “The sky is the limit” when it comes to success, dreams, and ambitions, but when it comes to God’s mercies we want to put a lid on? The truth is: There is no lid on God’s mercy. His mercies are new every morning according to the prayer of an unnamed person in the book of Lamentations (Lamentations 3:23):
“God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.”
God is all we’ve got. There is a reason why we are born naked and can’t take anything with us when we die. All we really need is God, especially His tender mercies with every waking day!