Friday, August 21, 2020

FMF: Mercy

On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
(Matthew 9:12-13, NIV)

"I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
(Matthew 12:6-8, NIV)

I love the bond that comes from teaching my children to love what I love.  My older son shares my affinity for 80s and 90s television and has seen a shocking quantity of cheesy sitcoms.  I recently quizzed him on which Full House catchphrase was his favorite: Have Mercy.  He literally said, "Because, John Stamos.  Do I need to say more?"

God also loves when His children care about the things He cares about.  Not once, but twice, Jesus quoted the same scripture to the pharisees. If Jesus told me something more than once, I hope I'd get the point.  (I'm feeling a little convicted even as I type those words because I'm sure there are things He tells me over and over that I still don't get.) The pharisees, however, did not seem to understand this passage:
For I desire mercy and not sacrifice,
And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
(Hosea 6:6, NKJV)
The sacrifice and offering system of the Old Testament worked well for the Jewish people, or so the pharisees thought.  In actuality, they were missing the point.  God didn't want bulls or doves or grain.  He wanted them.  Just them.

Here we find Jesus, perhaps speaking a little more tersely than He sometimes did, telling them they just don't get it.

Lord, help me when I don't get it.  Have mercy.

This post is a prompt from Five Minute Friday and was written in approximately five minutes. For more information, visit

You can read some other posts that deal with the topic of mercy HERE.


  1. Just them...I learn new mercy every single day. #9

  2. I thought of John Stamos, too!
    Thanks for your honest sharing of the many times Jesus tells us something and we forget. Oh goodness, how I do! I sometimes pray, "God, you KNOW I am a terrible listener, so please make your message clear and obvious!" :) Thanks, Amie. Karen FMF #15

  3. "God didn't want bulls or doves or grain. He wanted them. Just them."
    Amen. He's so merciful. Thank you for your beautiful words!
    Kim - FMF #12

  4. Who's John Stamos?

    When I think of mercy, I think of the times we fought very hard to kill people who were fighting very hard to kill us...and when one was wounded we founght even harder to save his life (even, sometimes, under the concentrated fire of his pals).

    This wasn't a Geneva Convention thing (I rather doubt the opposition could find Geneva on a map), and in the event we were contractors, and would not have been shown the same consideration by the oppos.

    It just seemed like the decent thing to do.

  5. I am so grateful God doesn't want doves and bulls from me. God's mercy wants me. How beautiful is that. Thank you x

  6. Lord have mercy when I don't get it. Thank you for this post and prayer :)

  7. I am an 80's tv kid too. I love that you wrote about Jesus also for your FMF post. I am so thankful for God's mercy and that he gave us Jesus.

  8. All the 80's tv kids in the house!! WHoo whoo!! Love the parallel drawn between how God loves it when we care about the things He cares about... never thought about it quite in that way. Thanks for sharing.