What Jesus Did! 'Mercy?' — Matthew 12:7

Thursday, June 1, 2017

"The Scripture says, 'I don't want animal sacrifices; I want you to show kindness to people.' You don't really know what those words mean. If you understood those words, then you would not judge those people that have done nothing wrong."
— Matthew 12:7
Illustration of Matthew 12:7 — "The Scripture says, 'I don't want animal sacrifices; I want you to show kindness to people."

Key Thought

Legalism stresses rules and crushes people. Jesus' biggest battles were with those who adhered to rules and law-keeping constructs while ignoring the demands of the Law that are close to the heart of God. Our goal as disciples is to be faithful to Jesus' commands and his intent. That's why having the Holy Spirit is such a blessing. He not only inspired the message and helps us in understanding it, but he also empowers us to do what Jesus desires. Of course, Jesus' consistent desire was to see people redeemed, not condemned.

Today's Prayer

Holy God, I know doing your will is essential. But help me understand that will with both my heart and my head. I don't want to just know your commands, but I want to also know you. I don't want to just be able to recite your demands, but I want to also reflect your character. You have been so gracious to me; give me the courage to be gracious to others. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

About that same time, Jesus was walking through the fields of grain on a Sabbath day. Jesus' followers were with him, and they were hungry. So the followers began to pick the grain and eat it. The Pharisees saw this. They said to Jesus, "Look! Your followers are doing something that is against the {Jewish} law to do on the Sabbath day." Jesus said to them, "You have read what David did when he and the people with him were hungry. David went into God's house. David and the people with him ate the bread that was offered to God. It was against the law for David or the people with him to eat that bread. Only the priests were allowed to eat it. And you have read in the law {of Moses} that on every Sabbath day the priests at the temple break the law about the Sabbath day. But the priests are not wrong for doing that. I tell you that there is something here that is greater than the temple. The Scripture says, 'I don't want animal sacrifices; I want you to show kindness to people.' You don't really know what those words mean. If you understood those words, then you would not judge those people that have done nothing wrong. "The Son of Man is Lord (ruler) over the Sabbath day. " Jesus left that place and went into their synagogue. In the synagogue there was a man with a crippled hand. Some Jews there were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus of doing wrong. So they asked Jesus, "Is it right to heal on the Sabbath day?" Jesus answered, "If any of you has a sheep, and the sheep falls into a ditch on the Sabbath day, then you will take the sheep and help it out of the ditch. Surely a man is more important than a sheep. So the law {of Moses} allows people to do good things on the Sabbath day." Then Jesus said to the man with the crippled hand, "Let me see your hand." The man put his hand out for Jesus, and the hand became well again, the same as the other hand. But the Pharisees left and made plans to kill Jesus.

Matthew 12:1-14

Related Scripture Readings

Why? Because I want faithful love, not sacrifice, {I want people} to know God, not {to bring} burnt offerings.

Hosea 6:6

You don't really want sacrifices. So why should I give sacrifices that you don't even want! The sacrifice that God wants is an humble spirit. God, you will not turn away a person who comes with an humble, submissive heart.

Psalm 51:16-17

"It will be bad for you teachers of the law and Pharisees. You are hypocrites. You give God one tenth of everything you own—even your mint, dill, and cummin. But you don't obey the really important teachings of the law—being fair, showing mercy, and being faithful. These are the things you should do. And you should also continue to do those other things. You guide the people, but you are blind! Think about a person picking a little fly out of his drink and then swallowing a camel! You are like that.

Matthew 23:23-24

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.