20 Stories of Grace in The Bible 

The Bible is old, like really old. But the stories inside… they still feel true today. They’re about finding a way back, about second chances, about a love bigger than we can imagine. Let’s take a look, see what you think. Before delving into the narratives, let’s first address a fundamental question: How many times is the word “grace” mentioned in the Bible?​​

The word “grace” graces the pages of the Bible approximately 170 times. So many stories in the Bible touch on this concept, it clearly was something people grappled with back then, just like we do

Get ready to hear about some seriously surprising turns of events in the Bible, all because something amazing happened—grace changed everything.

1. The Prodigal Son

The story of the lost son—everyone knows it, but it never gets old. A young guy blows all his money, ends up in the gutter, and finally decides to crawl home. You’d think his dad would be angry, right? But instead, he throws a party! It’s all about second chances and a love so big it makes your heart ache, the kind of love that’s waiting for us no matter how badly we mess up.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20, ESV)

“And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'” (Luke 15:21, ESV)

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.'” (Luke 15:22, ESV)

2. The Lost Sheep

In the Parable of the Lost Sheep, Jesus portrays a shepherd leaving the ninety-nine to search for the one lost sheep. This story isn’t about someone waiting around to be saved. It shows how God actively goes after the people who need Him most.

“Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7, ESV)

“And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” (Luke 15:5, ESV)

3. Rahab the Harlot

Rahab, a Canaanite prostitute, finds herself in an unlikely role in the grand narrative of God’s grace.

Think about this: she helps the enemy spies escape, and because of that, her whole family gets to live! The whole town might’ve seen Rahab as just a sinner, but God saw her courage and the good inside her.

“Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a sure sign.” (Joshua 2:12, ESV)

“And the men said to her, ‘Our life for yours even to death! If you do not tell this business of ours, then when the Lord gives us the land we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.'” (Joshua 2:14, ESV)

4. Zacchaeus the Tax Collector

Zacchaeus, a despised tax collector, encounters grace when Jesus not only notices him but invites himself to Zacchaeus’s home. You wouldn’t expect it, but grace turned this outcast’s life completely around.

“And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ‘Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.'” (Luke 19:8, ESV)

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.'” (Luke 19:9-10, ESV)

5. Peter’s Denial and Restoration

In the poignant narrative of Peter’s denial and subsequent restoration, we witness the resilience of grace. After denying Jesus three times, Peter is not met with condemnation but with forgiveness and reinstatement. Whenever I read this, I wonder about those second chances…maybe there’s hope for a new beginning, even after we mess up.

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“He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.'” (John 21:17, ESV)

“And when he had said this, he said to him, ‘Follow me.'” (John 21:19, ESV)

6. Stephen’s Martyrdom

As Stephen, the first Christian martyr, faces a violent death, he exemplifies grace by praying for the forgiveness of his persecutors. One small act of kindness cuts through all that hate. And as you know, Love can change things, even here.

“And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” (Acts 7:60, ESV)

“But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55, ESV)

7. The Woman Caught in Adultery

A woman caught in the act of adultery faces condemnation, but Jesus intervenes with grace. His words, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone,” challenge the accusers and offer forgiveness to the accused. What if even the people judged worst still deserve God’s love?

“Jesus stood up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.'” (John 8:10-11, ESV)

8. Saul’s Transformation into Paul

Saul, a fervent persecutor of Christians, undergoes a radical transformation on the road to Damascus. Even someone who fought so hard against God could find forgiveness, their story is a powerful reminder of His grace.

“And he said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.'” (Acts 9:5-6, ESV)

“And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized.” (Acts 9:18, ESV)

9. The Samaritan Woman at the Well

In a profound encounter at the well, Jesus engages in a conversation with a Samaritan woman, offering her living water as a symbol of the grace and acceptance God extends to all, regardless of their background.

“Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.'” (John 4:13-14, ESV)

“The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.'” (John 4:15, ESV)

10. The Canaanite Woman’s Faith

Persistently pleading for her daughter’s healing, a Canaanite woman’s faith is initially tested by Jesus. Against all odds, her persistence wins out. It shows that grace can surprise you,  no matter what your background is.

“Then Jesus answered her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed instantly.” (Matthew 15:28, ESV)

“And Jesus went on from there and passed alongside the Sea of Galilee. And he went up on the mountain and sat down there.” (Matthew 15:29, ESV)

11. The Forgiveness of the Unforgivable Debt

In the parable of the unforgiving servant, Jesus makes it clear: If we want to experience God’s amazing grace, we have to offer it to others too.

“And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?” (Matthew 18:33, ESV)

“Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.'” (Matthew 18:32, ESV)

12. The Thief on the Cross

As Jesus hangs on the cross, one of the criminals crucified beside him expresses faith and receives Jesus’ assurance of paradise. If you’re going through a tough time, this story might bring you hope and a little bit of grace.

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“And he said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.'” (Luke 23:43, ESV)

“One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, ‘Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!'” (Luke 23:39, ESV)

13. The Tax Collector and the Pharisee

In this parable, Jesus contrasts the humble tax collector seeking God’s grace with the self-righteous Pharisee. To get the good things God offers, we gotta let go of pride and trust that He’s got us.

“But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'” (Luke 18:13, ESV)

“I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14, ESV)

14. The Conversion of Lydia the Seller of Purple

Lydia, a businesswoman, opens her heart to the Gospel message and is baptized. This shows how God’s grace touches everyone – rich, poor, kings, outcasts, you name it!

“The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.” (Acts 16:14, ESV)

15. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The ultimate act of grace unfolds in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, and how he conquered death, we have hope for life beyond this one. God’s love for us is so big, He wants us close to Him again.

“He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.” (Matthew 28:6, ESV)

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.'” (Matthew 28:10, ESV)

16. The Healing of the Centurion’s Servant

A Roman soldier, a powerful guy, goes to Jesus for help healing his servant. That took guts! Even Jesus was surprised by the centurion’s faith! It shows us God’s love isn’t about rule books, it’s about the trust in your heart.

“But the centurion replied, ‘Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.'” (Matthew 8:8, ESV)

“And Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.’ And the servant was healed at that very moment.” (Matthew 8:13, ESV)

17. The Ten Lepers

In this story, ten desperate lepers find healing from Jesus. Only one, a Samaritan, returns to express gratitude. This story…wow! Made me realize how powerful God’s love is. Things can change in the blink of an eye!

“Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks.” (Luke 17:15-16, ESV)

18. The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Jesus told a story about a Samaritan, someone most people would have despised back then. But this Samaritan helps a wounded man, even after important religious figures passed him by. ​This story gets to the heart of it: forget the fancy words, being a good neighbor means taking action when you see someone struggling.

“But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine.” (Luke 10:33-34, ESV)

19. Jairus’ Daughter and the Woman with the Issue of Blood

In this incredible story, Jesus heals both a desperate father’s daughter and a woman who’d suffered for twelve long years. No matter what you’ve done or where you’re from, Jesus shows us that God loves you and can turn even the toughest times around.

“And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.'” (Mark 5:34, ESV)

“But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.'” (Mark 5:36, ESV)

20. The Feeding of the Five Thousand

In this miraculous event, Jesus feeds five thousand with five loaves and two fish.You won’t believe how much God loves the people in this story. He takes what seems small and makes it more than enough.

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“And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over.” (Matthew 14:20, ESV)

“And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.” (Matthew 14:21, ESV)

Bonus: The Story of Jonah

Okay, Jonah messed up big time. But the story’s not really about his failure, it’s about something way bigger. A reluctant prophet, Jonah resists God’s calling but experiences overwhelming grace through his perilous journey and encounter with a giant fish. Jonah’s story shows us that even when we mess up and run the opposite way, God’s love is way bigger. Sometimes you get a second chance, sometimes you gotta make one.

“And the Lord said, ‘You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?'” (Jonah 4:10-11, ESV)

FAQs about Stories of Grace in the Bible

Unfolding the pages of the Bible unveils a tapestry woven with threads of God’s love and mercy. Grace, the unmerited favor He bestows, shines brightly in countless stories throughout both the Old and New Testaments. Let’s delve into some frequently asked questions about these inspiring narratives:

1. What are some stories of grace in the Old Testament?
  • Abraham’s Covenant: Despite Abraham’s imperfections, God remains faithful to his promise, showcasing enduring grace.
  • Joseph’s Forgiveness: Betrayed and sold into slavery, Joseph ultimately chooses forgiveness and reconciliation with his brothers, embodying God’s grace towards those who wrong us.
  • Rahab the Harlot: Though an outsider, Rahab’s faith and assistance to the Israelites earn her redemption and inclusion in God’s people, highlighting His boundless grace.
  • David and Bathsheba: Even in the face of sin and tragedy, God offers forgiveness and restoration to David, reminding us that His grace reaches even the deepest darkness.
2. What are some stories of grace in the New Testament?
  • The Prodigal Son: This parable beautifully captures God’s unconditional love and acceptance of the repentant sinner, regardless of their mistakes.
  • The Lost Sheep: Jesus’ relentless pursuit of the lost sheep illustrates God’s unwavering desire to seek and redeem even the most wayward souls.
  • Zacchaeus the Tax Collector: Despite societal stigma, Jesus graciously extends forgiveness and acceptance to Zacchaeus, emphasizing God’s willingness to meet us where we are.
  • The Woman Caught in Adultery: Jesus intervenes to protect the condemned woman, offering grace and challenging our tendency to judge harshly.
3. Where are Examples of Jesus Showing Grace in the Bible?
  • Jesus forgave the woman at the well (John 4:5–30).
  • Jesus healed the leper (Mark 1:40–45).
  • Jesus forgave the thief on the cross (Luke 23:32–43).
  • Jesus washed his disciples’ feet (Matthew 26:14–39).
4. How Many Times is Grace Mentioned in the Bible?

While the exact number can vary depending on translation and counting methods, “grace” appears roughly:

  • 171 times in the King James Version (KJV)
  • 159 times in the New International Version (NIV)
  • 158 times in the New American Standard Bible (NASB)

However, the true significance of grace lies not in its frequency but in its transformative power throughout the Bible’s narrative.

5. What are the types of grace in the Bible?
  • Saving Grace (the unmerited gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ).
  • Justifying Grace (declaring us righteous before God despite our flaws).
  • Sanctifying Grace (the ongoing process of becoming more like Christ).
  • Sustaining Grace (God’s ongoing support and strength through life’s challenges).
  • Enabling Grace (empowering us to do what He calls us to do).

Conclusion

These stories aren’t just dusty old tales – the stuff of second chances, forgiveness, and a love that won’t quit rings as true today as ever.  They remind me that even when things seem hopeless, a way back can open up.  They make me believe that showing kindness, even when it’s hard, is the way to go. And maybe most importantly, they tell me I’m not alone in needing a little grace sometimes.

So, yeah, the Bible is ancient. But if you look a bit closer, you’ll find the messy, beautiful, surprisingly hopeful stories we all live out each day. Stories that remind us that grace is bigger than any mess we can make. 

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