October 26, 2023 – Thursday
Matthew 9:13 NKJV
13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.
Matthew 9:13 NIV
13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.
We spent a great deal of time covering Jesus conversation (really teaching to him) leading up to John 3:16-17, 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved; and beyond to verse 21.
Now for a few days, I would like to give a few examples of why Jesus came beyond 3:16-17 to add emphasis to them. Today we begin with Matthew 9:13, 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance. Notice the NIV, among many others (NASB and ESV as examples), does not have to repentance at the end as it uses older manuscripts without that ending. Either way the ending is then understood.
When Jesus made the statement, 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance, He was addressing the Pharisees that were complaining that He had chosen Matthew, a tax collector, to follow Him. And that He then sat down with other tax collectors and sinners. When the Pharisees saw this 11 They said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
Notice the question was addressed not to Jesus, but to His disciples, but somehow, He heard the question. Then He began to answer it, teaching them in the process. First with, 12 Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. With this it seems as if He were chiding them for not already understanding as surely this should be their task as well.
Next, He stated, 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance. He is telling them to go back and study Hosea 6:6, which says in full, 6 For I desire mercy] and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. His focus was on I desire mercy and not sacrifice which would surely lead to the rest. His intent was for them to learn (relearn) that at the time of Hosea, God’s people were good at bringing animals to sacrifice (Hosea 5:6), but no longer had mercy in their hearts. And in Hosea 4:1 the people heard this complaint against Israel, There is no truth or mercy Or knowledge of God in the land. Jesus was reminding the Pharisees, God would rather hearts be filled with truth and mercy rather than sacrifice. I think at times we need to remind ourselves of this teaching by Jesus. He repeated it again in Matthew 12:7
Bottom Line: Like Hosea, Micah 6:8 has something to teach us, 8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Love mercy!
Prayer: Father, Your Mercy and Your desire for us to love mercy is something I always need to be reminded of for my heart becomes so hard from time to time. Please forgive me and let my heart be opened to more and more mercy. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Still writing and working for the Glory of God