Our verse for today comes from Matthew 12:7, ” But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. “
As adults running in familiar circles, we tend to understand the words that we hear throughout the day. We can speak the ” tech ” talk that might go with our particular industry, but also have the normal, casual conversations we enjoy with friends and family. But speaking the industry language doesn’t guarantee that you know what you’re talking about. Who hasn’t worked with someone who knew the lingo but didn’t quite seem to grasp what was really going on? They knew the words they were using, but the concepts and ideas behind them escaped their practical understanding. And this is not unlike what we can see in our walk with the Lord. As Christians, we have a type of language that we speak, and words, whether in the Bible, a sermon, or prayers spoken to our Father, play a big part in who we are. But even in the common words we use as believers, there can be a disconnect between the definitions of the words and what they mean.
Jesus was explaining to the religious the concepts of mercy and sacrifice. Now these were familiar, basic words of their life and tenets of their faith. They could clearly define what mercy meant and what a sacrifice was. But when they took mercy and sacrifice and mixed them in with sinners and the Sabbath, suddenly the simple terms they learned years ago took on completely different meanings. The mercy that each of them so desperately needed from the One who made the ultimate sacrifice didn’t seem to apply to the ones who weren’t doing things their way. They weren’t following the rules. But when you know what the words mean, then they should change your behavior. The condemnation is gone. The judging is gone. The demands on others go away and the trivial things go back to being trivial. God becomes God again, and He stops being our own personal scorekeeper who helps us rank everything we approve or disapprove of. If you have desired His mercy, then you know what it means to desire mercy, and it should change your life. Be different, make a difference, and show mercy where you used to demand sacrifice.
we seek Him today, examine whether your actions display an understanding of the words of Jesus. Ask God to burn in your heart the desires of His heart.