These were the words written in red, that stopped me in my tracks. “What does this mean?” was the question I scribbled in my journal before moving on.
A few days later, I took my question to Google, and found these words mentioned three times in the Bible.
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6
But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:13
If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. Matthew 12:7
So what does this mean? For me, this statement by Jesus is like a chisel to my icy religious heart. You see, Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees’ when he makes this statement, but in that moment I could feel the Holy Spirit speaking to my own heart, word for word… BUT GO AND LEARN WHAT THIS MEANS! “Literally Shasta, go and learn what these words mean!”.
This lesson isn’t one I’m writing on because I can come here and say I figured out what it means. I think this one statement could equal a thousand blog posts because it is that “deep”.
What I can say in this moment, is that I am just starting to scratch the surface of this. That today as I dive into these words, I am left questioning where I may be judging people, the way we “do church”, the way I feel about certain things, and how I treat others.Hopefully I will have more to share soon, but until then I leave you with a question.
What do Jesus’ words here mean to you?