Bible in a Year Series - Day #282 - This post is part of a year-long series where we are reading chronologically through the Bible. Click here to learn more. You are most welcome to join along at any time.
Today's text from the ESV Study Bible: Matthew 12:1-21, Mark 3, & Luke 6.
"At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” 3 He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? 6 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. 7 And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:1-8)
"I desire mercy, and not sacrifice". Jesus again brought up this quote from Hosea 6:6 (For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings) in Matthew 9:13.
In fact, this was so important, he instructed the Pharisees to go learn what it means.
If we hop back into Hosea, one of the most gut-wrenching books displaying the heart of God, we will find Hosea chiding Israel for the heartless ritual of their sacrifices.
They were going through the motions, but there was no relationship or heart toward holy God.
As image-bearers, it is real easy for us to understand this.
As a parent, what do you most want from your children? Sure we want them to obey us, be healthy, and grow up to be good citizens. But beyond these things, we desire an intimate relationship with our children.
We want to show them our love, and we certainly want to enjoy this love in return.
God desires no less.
So, here's the question for our own hearts today: How do our actions demonstrate a true desire to have a deep relationship with God?