For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6 NKJV)
Jesus, After You recruited Matthew as a disciple and were accused of associating with sinners, You responded by quoting these words (Matthew 9:13). It’s a reminder that at the end of the day — our choice to see others through the filter of Your eyes and reach out to them with Your hands of compassion — those are the things that help spread the gospel. While the law reveals our sinful and broken nature, we can only bring them to You because You give us hope through Your mercy and grace… the same mercy and grace You lavish on all who believe in You. Help us to see the Matthews, tax collectors, and sinners in our communities through the example You gave…. Because at the end of it all — the sinners You associated with didn’t change You; but You changed them. In Your Name, Amen.