The first cost of mercy to Jesus was His heavenly position. Mercy moved Him to come to earth to take on human flesh and, ultimately, the mercy He offered to the world cost Him His life. Yet Jesus’ example of mercy is a model to all who would follow Him. He tells us, in essence, “Let My life show you the cost of mercy — total rejection by this world.”

The apostle Paul paid the same high cost of living out God’s mercy that Jesus paid on earth and that He warned us about:
“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20).
Paul testified to this truth:
“[We] labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring [scum] of all things unto this day” (1 Corinthians 4:12–13).

What are we to make of this rejection? Jesus answers us: “Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for behold, your reward is great in heaven” (Luke 6:23).

This is a difficult truth to swallow. How can we rejoice and be glad when we endure harsh persecution? Beloved, it is all part of the high cost of mercy. As it was with Paul, who was seen as filth, so it is for Christ’s Body, the Church. There is a price we all must pay when we preach Jesus and His mercy.