Mercy, Not Sacrifice – Matthew 9:13

Matthew 9:13 – 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.

When I was a boy in school, I remember asking my teacher what a certain word meant. She gave me a most annoying direction, saying, “Look it up in the dictionary.” At the time, I wondered why she wouldn’t just tell me the answer straight out. Only when I began to teach students myself did I comprehend. Sometimes the struggle to learn is as important as the knowledge gained.

Experience is the best teacher of the most important lessons, the ones that form our character. No one can make a great disciple out of you. The gift of faith gives one belief, but undisciplined faith can be easily misled. Instead, Christ tells we must go and learn what it means in the Scriptures when it says “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice.”

In another place, the Lord said, “Search the scriptures; for in them think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). And the noble Bereans “…were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). We must all go and learn from the Word.

Our Lord came to save the lost. Without Him and His Spirit, we would never find Him. Praise God that the Lord loves mercy more than sacrifice. We should too, and in that mercy we should also call others to the same repentance we seek each day.

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