Summary: Paul prays for mercy, peace, and love.
1. MacDonald, "The greeting is peculiarly suited to those who were facing the onslaught of those whose aim was to subvert their faith. Mercy means God's compassionate comfort and care for His beleaguered saints in times of conflict and stress.
Peace is the serenity and confidence that comes from reliance on God's word and from looking above the circumstances for the accomplishment fo His own purposes.
Love is the undeserved embrace of God for His dear people - a super-affection that should then be shared with others."
2. If we grow in God's mercy, peace, and love - we can literally face any and everything life throws at us!
3. A Descriptive Greeting - the Prayer.
Trans: I. Descriptive Greeting.
A. The Author.
B. The Audience.
1. The Privileges.
2. The Prayer.
I. FIRST, THE MULTIPLICATION.
May...multiplied - go together!
Greek: Mercy - to you - and - peace, - and - love - may be multiplied
may be multiplied - πληθύνω plēthunō [play-thoo-no] verb
A. The Possibility.
It is an optative mood, "The mood used in prayers, wishes and other instances to denote verbal action that is possible." [Pocket Dictionary for the Study of New Testament Greek]
B. The Passivity.
It is in the passive voice, "The voice that conveys that the subject is being affected by or is the receiver of the verbal action." Pocket Dictionary for the Study of New Testament Greek.
C. The wish for Plenty.
This verb, found in early Greek literature, has a basic meaning of “to be (or) become full.” Depending upon the context, various shades of meaning occur: “to increase in number, multiply, abound, grow, spread.”
In Matthew 24:12 plēthunō [play-thoo-no] is used to indicate the extent and spread of lawlessness.
""Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold." Matthew 24:12 (NASB)
In Acts, especially with reference to reports of the Church’s progress, the idea is that of numerical growth as a result of the proclamation of the Word:
"The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith." Acts 6:7 (NASB)
"So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase." Acts 9:31 (NASB)
"But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied. Acts 12:24 (NASB)
Spurgeon, "The benediction of the apostle is this,-that this mercy, peace, and love may be multiplied to you. Is not that a beautiful word, "multiplied"?-not merely increased, but multiplied.
You know what it is to increase; you add one to two, that is three; but when you multiply, you say, "Three times three, that is nine." Multiplying is a quick way of growing.
Oh, that you had all these blessings multiplied, -that, if you have had mercy, you might have ten times as much mercy,
-that, if you have had peace, you might have a deeper, fuller, richer, more abiding peace, multiplied peace, peace upon peace, "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding;"
-and that, if you have had love, your love might be multiplied, squared, cubed! May the biggest figures that can be found multiply your love, for never did any man yet have too much love to God, or too much of the right kind of love to his fellow-men! May the Lord make us to grow in grace, to be filled with grace, to have these three graces multiplied unto us!"
II. FINALLY, THE MANIFESTATION.
[What do we desire to be multiplied?]
mercy - ἔλεος eleos [el--eh--os] noun
God in His mercy does not give us what we deserve. Instead, He gave our punishment to His own Son on the cross.
"Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted." Isaiah 53:4 (NASB)
MacArthur, "Whenever believers commit sin, they will always find an ample supply of mercy at God's throne of grace (Heb. 4:16). Paul told the Romans that God manifested “the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory” (Rom. 9:23). The “vessels of mercy,” those sinners whom God has chosen for salvation, continually receive outpourings of His mercy, like cups or bowls that are constantly refilled with water."
"Mercy carries with it the Old Testament picture of God’s loving-kindness or compassion. God’s mercy helps believers day by day. Jude knew that the believers were facing difficult situations in the world—a society focused on selfish pleasure, ready to persecute believers at any provocation, with false teachers looking to tear the churches apart. Mercy helps believers in their times of need (Hebrews 4:16)." [Life Application New Testament Commentary]