Saturday, January 15, 2011

Matthew 12: "I Desire Mercy, Not Sacrifice: The Sequel"

Dear blog reader:

Today's storyteller is Guy, not Andrew. So this morning (Saturday) I woke up, made myself a hearty breakfast, and then settled down to read Matthew 12 and write this blog entry.

In Matthew 12, Jesus is starting to repeat himself, because the Pharisees aren't getting the message. So for the second time he quotes Hosea 6:6 at them: "I desire mercy, not sacrifice." It is the Sabbath. His hungry disciples eat a few pieces of grain on the sabbath; the well-fed Pharisees wag their fingers. He heals a man with a shriveled hand; more finger-wagging about rule-breaking. He drives a demon for one of its victims, and is accused of being the Prince of Demons.

In response, Jesus advises them - at times in the same tone that a police officer "advises" a gun-toting suspect to drop the gun and raise his hands - that the God they profess to serve better than anyone else cares less about their religious sacrifice and more about them helping needy people. I've said it in a wussy way; Jesus didn't.

So, back to my real-life, Saturday morning. As I am firing up the laptop to deliver these pearls of wisdom to my thousands of breathlessly waiting readers, my wife - hungry, physically impaired, and not always able to attend religious services due to her health - wakes up and asks me for help. And my first thought is:

"Rats, now how am I going to finish my bible-reading blog entry?!"

God sees the nations, and laughs. In a sad kind of way, like the Dufflepuds of Narnia, we can be pretty funny.

1 comment:

  1. Our brother Tim Steiner of Isle La Motte offers this verse:

    "For if the blood of bulls, and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the Eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God."

    Mercy and not sacrifice, amen.