But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy,
and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
Read Hosea 6:4-11
The Lord Jesus gave a third proof as to why His disciples were not guilty of
breaking the commandments. He used Hosea 6:6 to do so. There we read:
For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than
burnt offerings. By this reference, Christ showed the excellence of goodness
and mercy in comparison to going through the motions of sacrifices and
self-made rules. The Pharisees were guilty of transgressing the second table
of the law while adhering to their self made bylaws. They were hypocrites.
Calvin correctly wrote that, with all their religious fanfare, they adulterated
the fruits of a godly life. This showed they really did not know the Scriptures.
If they had really understood them, they would have known that mercy
is more important than sacrifice, and would then not have condemned
the disciples. The keeping of the Sabbath did not mean that people must
go hungry. It is important to know the real meaning of the Bible, rather
than to always take it literally. It is possible to focus on the letter or literal
meaning of the passage and at the same time miss the spirit or application.
Without spiritually understanding the Word, we easily end up thoughtlessly
The disciples had not made themselves guilty of transgressing God’s law, yet
they were condemned by the Pharisees. The performance of outward religious
formalities without charity and mercy does not have any value before
the Lord. The main requirement is love to God. Without true repentance
and faith, mercy is absent. The Pharisees did not have genuine love. Is this
also true of you?
Thought: True mercy is a heart issue.
Psalter 428:8 (based on Psalm 119)
Thy Word is as a lamp unto my feet,
A light upon my pathway unto heaven;
I’ve sworn an oath, which gladly I’ll repeat,
That I shall keep, as always I have striven,
Thy righteous judgments, holy and complete,
When unto me Thy helping grace is given.