When Christians hear the phrase “traveling mercies,” we usually think of the words we use when we ask God to protect and provide for those who are about to go on a journey. But I’d like to share another picture of traveling mercies, one that we should understand and emulate.
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. (Acts 10:38)
The Traveling Mercies pictured in this verse is none other than the Lord Himself. He was continually on a mission from His Father in heaven as He went around doing good. Notice a few things in this wonderful picture of Traveling Mercies:
1. Jesus did it Himself. He went around doing good. He did not send others to do His work; He did not send the angels or the apostles; He Himself went about doing good personally. The incomparable Charles Spurgeon described it, “Jesus went on His errands of mercy.” Jesus used His legs to walk. He used His fingers to touch. He used His eyes to see. He used His voice to speak. He used His ears to hear. He used His heart to ache with compassion for those who were “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). What a wonderful example He has left for us, that we also might go around doing good personally with the passion of our Lord!
2. Jesus went around. He did not wait for the hurting to show up. He went to the woman at the well. He went to the lame at the pool. He went to the sick in the bed. He went to the dead in the tomb. Difficulty did not deter Him, nor did danger. He went personally to every object of His affection and mercy to do good. “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). He went—even to His sacrificial death; nobody had to come looking for Him. His face was set in determination to go and die for you and for me.
What a wonderful example He has left for us, that we might go to those in need rather than waiting for them to seek us out! Now, it is true that Scripture teaches us God does not need our good works, but it also teaches us that our neighbor does. We are God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), created in Christ Jesus to do good works for His glory and for the benefit of all those we come in contact with who need a touch from God—and that’s everyone.
The truths of the Gospel should compel us to be continually engaged in traveling mercies, regardless of the cost or circumstance. Because of what Jesus has already done for us (past grace), and all that He has promised He will do for us (future grace), our hearts should beat to the rhythm of the traveling mercies drum.
One final point: We see in Acts 10:38 that God was with Jesus throughout His “errands of mercy.” And He has promised to do the same for us: “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!