His Mercy :: By Mark Susswein

It is quite interesting as we read through the Scriptures, we find Jesus quoting Hosea on two different occasions in the New Testament. Once in Matthew 9:13 and once in Mark 23:30.

I was curious. I wondered in what context were these verses being quoted by the Son of God? So, let’s turn to Matthew 9:13. This is Jesus quoting Hosea 6:6.

“Go and learn what this means, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.”

This was the moment in time when Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house with not only His disciples, but with tax collectors and ‘sinners’ as well. Jesus was giving a teaching to those gathered and was reaching out to those who were aware of their unrighteousness.

The Lord is not sitting with these men because they are worthy, but because He is merciful. Jesus, in His mercy, desires sinners to be included in His kingdom. Aren’t we all grateful and joyful that He invited sinners like us into the kingdom? Amen and thank you, Lord!

God wants us to love and obey Him. Instead of sacrifices, He wants our loving loyalty. Instead of offerings, He wants acknowledgement. Pretty simple.

Jesus quotes Hosea 6:6 a second time in Matthew 12:7. “And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.”

The theme is still the same in Matthew 9:12.

In this part of Matthew, the Pharisees were questioning Jesus about what was lawful. They prioritized the details of rituals and laws over God’s mercy, or what is defined as steadfast love.

When the Son of God quotes a verse from the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), it must have been very important then as well as today. It was and it is. If it is repeated a second time, it must be very, very important. It was and is.

So, I’ll say it another way: God wants us to love and obey him. Pretty simple. One way to show our love to Him is to be obedient to Matthew 28:19-20, the Great Commission.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

Let’s do that, brother and sisters, especially during these not so normal times. Who knows? The love of Jesus we show to the lost by way of sharing the good news, they too will receive that same mercy, that same steadfast love as we did when we were lost. For a time such as this could be the day of their salvation. Be blessed and stay safe.

Mark Susswein: msusswein@comcast.net