Mercy and Grace
The parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) is a wonderful example of God’s mercy and grace. In the parable, Jesus described a son that had sinned against his father in the worst way—by essentially wishing his father was dead. He didn’t want his father in his life anymore, he just wanted his money. After leaving his father, he squandered his inheritance on immoral living, ultimately hitting rock bottom before deciding to return to his father’s house.
Upon his homecoming, the father could’ve given him justice by sending him away or allowing the boy to be beaten or killed. The father could’ve done something corrupt or sinister (injustice). Or he could’ve expressed his mercy by forgiving the son and letting him work as a hired hand as the son requested. But instead, the father expressed his mercy by forgiving the son, and then lavishly extended his grace by dressing the boy in luxurious clothes, slaughtering the fatted calf, throwing him a big party, and adopting him back as his son. That is the example Jesus gives of both God’s mercy (forgiveness) and his grace (blessing).