Sacrifice & Mercy – By Father Andrew Bahhi

These days a lot of people don’t consider Sunday a holy day. But holiness shows on the outside, and it must come from the inside as well. In Matthew 12, the Lord spoke of honoring this day as the Pharisees would try to complain about him, by saying “how come your disciples don’t wash their hands before they eat or they don’t consider the sabbath?”

The Lord responded with the true meaning of the Sunday. “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”

Have you wondered what mercy and sacrifice means, and what the Lord Jesus meant by this verse?

First the word sacrifice – when once sacrifices, it means to offer something. In the Old Testament, it meant for seeking forgiveness or cleansing. So, it resembles my love for God. It means what I do that shows my love.

And mercy means good deeds or acts.

So, when the Lord desires mercy, he means when you do something without true love, it does not mean anything. The Pharisees honored the sabbath, but they did not spiritually do so.

So, for us it means, if I want to make this day holy. I must not work, but instead DO good works.

The Lord knows every single heart. You deceive or cheat yourself by wanting to make your conscience sleep, but not go to the church for the love of the Lord. The Lord later performed the miracle for the man with the withered, or dry/dead, hand. He was not able to move his hand. And the Lord cured him.

Then, the Pharisees said, “he is working on the sabbath.”

And Jesus responded, for any one for you on the sabbath, if you have an animal that falls in the deep pit, would you wait for the next day or would you help it now? The answer was clear. So, who is more important, this man – the image of God — or the animal?

If we don’t have true love. If we don’t sacrifice our true love for the Lord, our mercy will be in vain, and it will be without any meaning.

So that’s why the Lord performed this miracle. He heals our withered hand to help the church. The Lord brought life to the hand to feel for your needy brother, so you can do good for your brother. He is telling us, “Please, be awake. It is easy to say good things. But it is hard to DO good things.”

I pray we can learn from the what the Lord has done in our life, again and again and again. Let’s all of us do good things from pure love and love for all around all of us.

Learn more in Father Andrew’s sermon video here.