Judged Without Mercy
James 2:13
For he shall have judgment without mercy, that has showed no mercy; and mercy rejoices against judgment.

The usual mode of explaining these words is that judgment in the case of the merciless shall be merciless, yet in the case of the merciful mercy glories against judgment, so as to ward off its stroke, and deliver the merciful man, so that mercy does not fear judgment, but rather glories against it and over it. The whole lesson teaching us, in Bengel's words, that judgment shall be to every one as every one shall have been. But this exposition seems to bring in another subject, quite foreign to the writer's argument; he is not treating of mercy or the merciful man, but of the unjust man and of judgment. Surely, if the mode of deciding the verdict of the merciful man had been intended, some mention of that character would have found a place. It seems better to regard this clause as a sort of climax to the preceding statement: You are about to be judged by the law which enjoins liberty, and the judgment which will be passed by God according to that law will be unaccompanied by mercy against the man that did not show mercy, even though it is characteristic of God's mercy to glory against judgment. His mercy often spares when we deserve the blow, but it shall not be so then. You have judged and rejected others, you shall be judged and rejected yourselves. As you have sown, so shall you reap.

(F. T. Bussett, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

WEB: For judgment is without mercy to him who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

The Law of Liberty
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