Text: Matthew 12:1-12
Jesus makes a couple of very important statements in the midst of this event. In verse 7 he says …. But if you had known what this means, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. Interesting isn’t it. Sometimes we focus too much on giving up something for God — sacrifice. But God longs even more for us to give something — and that something is mercy. We do a lot of mission work at out church and we do much of that on Sunday. This has become more and more frequent as we have grown into a regional church. People live further away from the campus and enabling them to both worship and serve in one trip helps out. In fact, we’ve recently established a new service that includes some mission component every Sunday. This past Sunday afternoon, our church packed 41,000 meals to be distributed to local children. I guess you could say that we were “working” on Sunday. But seems to me that we were actually engaged in an act of mercy. Throughout the Bible, this clarification is being made.
Proverbs 21:3 To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Hosea 6:6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings.
Yes God loves our sacrifice, but God is also honored in our service. Seems to me that both sacrifice and service are ways of worshiping and honoring God. And …..Even on Sunday, we don’t have to choose between the two. After all that’s what Jesus himself said …. So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath. (Matthew 12:12).
Thought for the Day: God desires mercy more than sacrifice.
Prayer: Lord, help me to show mercy in word and action today so that I might bless others and honor you. Amen
1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 When the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath.” 3 He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him or his companions to eat, but only for the priests. 5 Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests in the temple break the sabbath and yet are guiltless? 6 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. 7 But if you had known what this means, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.” 9 He left that place and entered their synagogue; 10 a man was there with a withered hand, and they asked him, “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath?” so that they might accuse him. 11 He said to them, “Suppose one of you has only one sheep and it falls into a pit on the sabbath; will you not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a human being than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the sabbath.”