God will always choose merciful actions first and He asks us to do the same.
Matthew 12: 1 – 8.
The Lord said he wants mercy not sacrifice. What is the difference between the two? Sacrifice is specific and belongs to rules and regulations. Ritual sacrifices followed the guidelines laid down for them precisely. We might even say that sacrifice tends to be rigid rather than flexible. People have to conform to sacrificial rules, whatever they may be. Mercy meets people where they are. It does not ask for pre-conditions before reaching out or ministering.
Today’s parable is the debate between Jesus and the Pharisees over the disciples picking and eating corn while walking in the cornfields. The Pharisees saw the disciples’ action of picking corn as work and therefore, it was forbidden on the Sabbath. Jesus saw their hunger which justifies their eating to satisfy same.
Hunger was the greater need. Mercy was the only way to answer. Mercy responded to the disciples’ need for food which fortunately was within arms reach. God will always choose merciful actions first and He asks us to do the same.