The American Wisdom Series

Pamphlet #1075

 I will have mercy, and not sacrifice

Have you noticed how Jesus and His disciples got along well
with real "down to earth" people who were not "phony baloney" religionists.

And you know what?
It is much easier to converse with sinners and plant seeds of truth
than it is with religious people,
such as Christians who are "set in their ways"
with the traditions of men
and think they are "good"
while others who do not meet their standards they consider to be beneath them
and unworthy of their association.

I'm sure you know the "religious" type.
In fact, Luke's account of Christ's words gives us a real good description
of how the self-righteous Pharisees looked upon publicans and sinners.

Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray;
the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

[11] The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself,

God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are,
extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
Wow! The Pharisee is actually thanking God that he is not as other men are,
but better than everyone else.
"My, my! Aren't we something special on a stick?"
The fact is that he is all of those things mentioned,
an extortioner, unjust (being displayed right now),
and an adulterer in the spiritual sense, i.e. an idolater!
[12] I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
And just look at all my good works, God!
[13] And the publican, standing afar off,
would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven,
but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
The Pharisee didn't have the time of day for the publican
who was honest and humble before God.
Good thing our Father did!
[14] I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other:
for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased;
and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
And so we have a good picture of Matthew 9:12 coming up... i.e.
of the self-righteous (those who think they are whole)
and the sinner (those who are sick in need of a physician).
Matthew 9:11
And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
Obviously, these self-important, self-righteous hypocrites
wouldn't be caught dead associating with such "low-lifes"!

This statement also documents that these Pharisees had no love or compassion
(as in mercy) for the spiritual welfare of publicans and sinners.
Would seem that these great self-exalted "spiritual leaders"
have determined that the salvation of the souls of such publicans and sinners isn't important to God.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! (see Matthew 23:13)

By the way, instead of questioning His disciples
(perhaps in hopes of seeing what else they might find to accuse Him of)
you would think these Pharisees would have asked Christ directly! Nevertheless,
He heard what they asked and gave them a fitting answer.

[12] But when Jesus heard that, He said unto them,
They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
Wow, that's a strong indictment of their hypocrisy, isn't it?
Like so many "religious" people today,
they think because of their sacrifices,
the religious things they do, i.e. their offerings and
their faithful church attendance and all the charities and missionaries they support, etc.,
that they are doing God's will and they are "whole",
not like those sinners and publicans! In other words,
they believe that they are in good standing with God
and that He looks favorably upon them for their "wonderful works".

Remember what Christ said about all that in Mat. 7:21-23?
The point is, one cannot "repent" unless one knows
he or she is a sinner and has need of repentance!

To that end, Jesus now instructs the Pharisees to go study
and learn the meaning of the great analogy He just gave them.

He refers them to the book of "salvation",
which is the Book of Hosea in the Minor Prophets
(Hosea means "salvation" in Hebrew),
and in fact He even makes their homework easy for them
by telling right where to go... no not there... but rather
to where it is written "I will have mercy, and not sacrifice" which is found in Hos. 6:6.

[13] 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.
Our Father in not interested in a bunch of "religious" people
doing "religious things" like giving sacrifices and burnt offerings.

What He wants is for His children to be loving and merciful,
not as the self-righteous Pharisees,
and to come to Him in true repentance and love Him.

Christ came to call sinners to repentance
so if you are too good to follow Him and help call sinners too,
then perhaps you are just too good for Jesus Christ.

Here is the passage of Hosea to which Christ referred:

Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice;
and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
So if you are "playing church" then stop and "get real"
and be honest with your Father and begin to study His Word,
else how can you know how to follow Him?

That's what the apostle Peter said as he closed his second epistle,
"Grow in grace (loving kindness, mercy),
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." (2 Peter 3:18)

[7] But they like men have transgressed the covenant:
there have they dealt treacherously against me.
To "deal treacherously" means to be "unfaithful"
as in to break one's vows, i.e. to transgress the (marriage) covenant God made with you.

Even this very day, though our people have the Written Words of the Living Word
right on their coffee tables or book shelves,
they ignore His warnings and the instructions
He gave them through the prophets and the apostles
and they have allowed themselves to be lulled to sleep
and spiritually seduced by that old serpent, the false messiah, even Satan.

And their "many" preachers of whom Christ warned them
to be wary in Mat. 24 and Mk. 13, lead them right down the path to spiritual death
by substituting a "form of worship" for the love and knowledge of His Word.

In other words,
they do not teach and communicate His Word
chapter by chapter and verse by verse
but rather substitute the religious traditions of men
to which people become accustomed and firmly set in their ways.

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