In the Bible, the virtues of mercy and compassion are mentioned in various forms hundreds of times, especially in describing God’s nature. Instead of giving us what we deserve, God has shown mercy again and again, not to take away our responsibility, but to give us a chance to repent and be saved. We can ask ourselves: What have we done with that opportunity?
As undeserving recipients of God’s mercy, nothing else would be fitting than that we ourselves show unreserved mercy and compassion for other people. Indeed, we are commanded to be merciful as God is merciful! The Bible even speaks about compassion and care for animals. Compassion is to share the pain and suffering of others, and actively working to help them. Our greatest example in this is Jesus Himself, who took upon Himself human nature, giving His life to open a way of eternal salvation for us.
Can we also open our hearts to others, friends and strangers alike, and learn to love selflessly, as we have been loved? Consider a selection from the hundreds of verses about mercy and compassion in the Bible:
Verses about God’s and Jesus’ compassion and mercy for us
“The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin …” Exodus 34:6-7.
“Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments …” Deuteronomy 7:9.
“With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful …” 2 Samuel 22:26.
“All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, to such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.” Psalm 25:10.
“But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.” Psalm 86:15.
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; mercy and truth go before Your face.” Psalm 89:14.
“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Psalm 145:8-9.
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23.
“Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:18-19.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) …” Ephesians 2:4-5.
“And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.” Mark 6:34.
“Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” Hebrews 2:17-18.
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16.
Verses about compassion and mercy applicable to us
“Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” Luke 6:36.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
“To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” Job 6:14.
“Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.” Psalm 112:4.
“Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.” Proverbs 3:3-4.
“The merciful man does good for his own soul, But he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.” Proverbs 11:17.
“A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” Proverbs 12:10.
“He who despises his neighbor sins; but he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he.” Proverbs 14:21.
“He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, but he who honors Him has mercy on the needy.” Proverbs 14:31.
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8.
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart against his brother.’” Zechariah 7:8-10.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Matthew 7:1-2.
“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.” Matthew 23:23.
“‘… for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me. … Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’” Matthew 25:35-40,45.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2.
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:7-10.
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32.
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” Colossians 3:12-14.
“Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.” 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15.
“For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:13.
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” James 3:17.
“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9.