Mercy, not Sacrifice

Jesus got fussed at a lot.

He did things that caused other folks to fuss at Him, or judge Him, or condemn Him. He was always doing things that folks didn’t like, or thought He shouldn’t be.

Why? Why did He do these things? And why did folks fuss at Him?

Let’s look at a text today in Matthew 9:10-13 and see why:

And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.” For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

mercy-graceJesus eats with the tax collectors and sinners here in this text. And the religious leaders didn’t like that. They fussed at Him and said, you shouldn’t do that. You don’t need to do that.

They aren’t worthy. They are unclean. They shouldn’t be accepted at a meal, they should be judged for their sin.

And Jesus said – I desire mercy, not sacrifice.

That throws folks off. That notion makes us uneasy. Not within ourselves. I like mercy for me. It’s judgement I want for them.

I want God to forgive my sins. But, they deserve judgement for their sin.

Jesus says no – I give mercy.

The “law” is easy. It’s a check list. Do these things. Don’t do these things. It’s easy.

But, actually it’s not. We find that we wind up doing the things we shouldn’t be doing, and we wind up not doing the things that we should be doing. And then we are confused. Broken. Ashamed. We beat ourselves up.

So, hear the words of Jesus. He came to bring mercy.

Take that mercy on yourself today. And here, here’s the hard part.

Give that mercy to “them.” Whoever “they” are. They need that mercy as much as we do. Jesus came to give us mercy. Jesus came to give them mercy.

Today, be a people of mercy, not a people of judgement. And in that, we are obedient the law of love that Jesus gave us to follow!

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

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