9 As Yeshua passed on from there he spotted a tax-collector named Mattityahu sitting in his collection booth. He said to him, “Follow me!” and he got up and followed him.
10 While Yeshua was in the house eating, many tax-collectors and sinners came and joined him and his talmidim (disciples) at the meal. 11 When the P’rushim (Pharisees) saw this, they said to his talmidim, “Why does your rabbi eat with tax-collectors and sinners?” 12 But Yeshua heard the question and answered, “The ones who need a doctor aren’t the healthy but the sick. 13 As for you, go and learn what this means: ‘I want compassion rather than animal-sacrifices.’ For I didn’t come to call the ‘righteous,’ but sinners!”
The bolded portion above is from the book of Hosea.
For what I desire is mercy, not sacrifices,
knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
Jesus was once again quoting from the prophets. He was referring to Words that had been given by God to share through the prophets with the people. Those who took the time to study and read (ie the Pharisees) would know, and should understand, what Jesus was saying.
This passage is used quite often as a way of saying that Jesus was doing away with animal sacrifices and "changed the law" so that they would not need to be done. This is the furthest idea from the Truth. Jesus never changed Torah. Jesus never changed the commands that God gave the children of Israel as they wandered in the wilderness.
Jesus did not say, "stop doing animal sacrifices." Jesus simply said, "I want compassion." He wanted them to understand that as they brought the sacrifices, the matters of the heart were still important. Add mercy/compassion to what you are required to do.
Showing compassion to those around them was part of the most important command, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart... And love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus was teaching those around Him, including the Pharisees who were trying to trick Him, that understanding God and showing compassion did not replace sacrifices, but needed to be added to the sacrifices.
Today as you are facing the chaos of the world around you, remind yourself that God sees your heart. Do what is required of you, but do it with His love, His compassion, His mercy. Don't be proud or arrogant and boast about what you are doing, simply do. Love those who need His love. Go to those who need His compassion.
Love and blessings,
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