Go Figure!

“Go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.”  Jesus words in Matthew 9:13

I love the fact that Jesus isn’t often prescriptive in His instruction, but draws us in to think and grapple with his teaching.  This is no mindless faith.  “Go figure, I desire mercy and not sacrifice”.  Ok, lets have a crack, lets figure this out.  Mercy, not sacrifice?

I really don’t have grand thoughts on this.  Here is what I do have…..

Mercy is about people, sacrifice is about stuff.  Mercy is choosing others before yourself, being willing to be wrong, preferring other peoples’ reputation above your own.  Sacrifice is what we do, it’s giving up stuff or time.  It is possible to sacrifice in isolation.  It is not possible to ‘LOVE MERCY’ (Micah 6:8) in isolation.  The nature of mercy is relational.  It is about how we treat others, it is about our attitude towards each other.

A while later (Matthew 12:7) Jesus again quotes this passage from Hosea “..if you had known what this means, “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,” you would not have condemned the guiltless.”

Confirmation that knowing (or not knowing) what it means that God desires mercy rather than sacrifice will directly affect our actions and attitudes towards those around us.

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2 thoughts on “Go Figure!

  1. One of the quotes I saw recently that has stuck with me a bit is “Mercy is not getting what we deserve” as opposed to grace “getting what we don’t deserve” small but important difference.
    Bringing it back to sacrifice you can sacrifice having food, but it doesn’t mean you give the food you would have had to someone else. I know sometimes when I fast it’s like that. I don’t eat some food and sometimes I pray more but I rarely give the food I would have eaten to someone else.
    I like your point about it’s not about being in isolation, Our general society (which of course impacts church society) pushes us that way. Worship on our own in our own way, do the ministries we want, give up the things we want/should give up.

    • CS Lewis made that point brilliantly in ‘Weight of Glory’ when he insists that God does not ask us to ‘give up’ without also asking us to ‘follow’. “pick up your cross and follow me’.

      The act of sacrifice has little value in itself (other than as an exercise in discipline) but is an essential part of freeing us to follow, or serve, or provide for someone.

      Thanks for commenting and adding your thoughts, appreciated

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