In Matthew 9:12-13, Jesus (replying to a group of very religious people) said: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees ( a group of very religious/devout people). In verse 13 He was quoting from Hosea 6:6 – a story that everyone of the Pharisees was familiar with; a story of the unfaithfulness of Hosea’s wife and his compassion & forgiveness toward her.
Many people in churches today still base their “spirituality” on the things they do; ie, their check list. I read my Bible, I prayed, I memorized a scripture, I went to church, I gave to the offering, I served in some way, etc. These are all important things that we should do, but without compassion none of these acts are meaningful to God and they’re not the plumbline of maturity as a Christian.
Jesus repeated the Word of God when He said: I desire mercy (compassion) not sacrifice. Maybe it’s time for some of us to do a heart-check. We are to be merciful toward those outside the church AND we are to show compassion to those inside the church (our church & other churches). When you or I are judgmental and condemning; failing to offer mercy or compassion to others, we’ve missed the mark. Jesus desires COMPASSION not sacrifice.