PLEASE READ THIS FIRST: Matthew 9:9-13
What do you sense the Lord saying to you in this passage?
“Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’” (Matthew 9:13)
For the Pharisees, obeying God’s laws was of utmost importance.
God commanded the sacrifices as part of Moses’ Law, therefore they must obey.
God commanded separation from sin and sinners also, therefore they must obey.
The problem is that they misunderstood God’s commands against sin and sinners.
The intent was to keep them from sinning, not to keep them from loving.
The Pharisees turned ‘holiness’ (not sinning) into a sin (not loving).
God remains separate from sinners in sin, but not separate from sinners in mercy.
Jesus does not join the ‘sinners’ in their sin, but He does join them in mercy.
To help them, to restore them, to show them the way into God’s love and goodness.
Mercy has always been God’s way – how could He work with humans otherwise?
As society’s views on morality and faith change, how do we as Jesus followers respond?
How do we relate to someone whose morality is a concern?
Too many Christians are following the way of the Pharisees.
We too need to learn what this phrase means: God desires mercy, not sacrifice!
Lord, help us to excel at mercy, even as we struggle to know what it means to be holy and to obey.