“Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:13 HCSB).


The Pharisees asked why Jesus ate with sinners and He answered with a rabbinic response: “Go and learn.” For rabbis were known for sending their students back to the Scriptures to discover the answers to their own questions. Jesus quoted from the prophet Hosea where God had said, “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6). In other words, God valued doing good and showing mercy to others, higher than He valued the offering of sacrifices.
That’s what Jesus was doing. He was showing compassion and mercy to those who were sinners. While the Pharisees were unmerciful to them and dishonest about their own need for repentance. They didn’t recognize that they too were sinners in need of God’s mercy.
Those who admit that they are sinners, will recognize their need for a Savior and hear Christ’s call. Those who believe themselves good, or at least as good or better than the next man, will not. For they see no need for salvation.
Will you go to the Scriptures and learn?
PRAYER: Dear Father, we have answered Christ’s call to repent and placed our trust in Him for forgiveness of sin. In Him, we see Your highest expression of mercy. Yet, we also see Your highest expression of justice. For You sent Him to redeem us by His sacrifice, dying on a cruel cross to pay for our sin debt. Thank You, Father, that You sent Jesus to redeem us sinners! In His name we pray, amen.