God Desires MercyBro. David Chancellor
12/7/2003 6:00 PM
And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
These people were finding fault with Jesus. Jesus told them that he was there to help those that needed help. God wants mercy, not sacrifice.
Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth. For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me. Gilead is a city of them that work iniquity, and is polluted with blood. And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way by consent: for they commit lewdness.
God desired mercy and not sacrifice. God is interested in how we go about religion. He wants us to consider his workings and dealings with mankind. He wanted them to see the reason for the sacrifice, not just the sacrifice. He wasnt so worried about the sacrifice as he was about showing mercy. God wanted to give them mercy. If youre only focusing on what youre giving, youre missing the point. Christ came for our salvation. The purpose was to bring God to man.
Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
God was trying to help them see what mattered to him. Men can get wrapped up in tradition and ceremony. If religion doesnt bring people to God, it misses the point. Form and ritual is the reason that the people went into idolatry. The Old Testament was given to bring people to God. We have what the Old Testament pointed to. So many miss out on what God intended. God doesnt want great works of religion. He wants a personal relationship with us. The Old Testament was given to help us see that Jesus was the one.
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
The Old Testament made the Jews feel like they were the special people of God. Jesus pointed them to it to help them to see him. While were not under the old law, that doesnt mean the Old Testament was unimportant. We can learn about Christ from the Old Testament. We can search the scriptures and find the source of eternal life. Christ was the fulfillment of the Old Testament scriptures in every way. Sacrifice wasnt to lift up ourselves. God provided the sacrifice to get across his message of mercy. Christ was trying to help the scribes and Pharisees to see that God would have mercy.
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
Christ fulfilled it all on the cross. Our sanctification is through Christ. All the other was just temporary used to bring us to God. The real essence of religion is to worship God. The Old Testament explains things. The important thing is to have a personal relationship with God. The message of Christ is serving God, lifting him up, and honoring his name.