The Israelite people had been doing an okay job of following the laws God has put in place. But their hearts weren’t in it. He said to his people “I desired mercy, and not sacrifice.” Because just going through the religious ropes weren’t enough. 

Later Jesus sat at the table with sinners, ministering to them. The Pharisees rebuked him. They were appalled that he would be seen with those people. Jesus said “Go ye and learn what that meaneth ‘I will have mercy, and not sacrifice:'” They were being taught that living according to the law isn’t superior to living in the grace of God. 

I say “I will wholeheartedly ask for the mercy of Jesus and not depend upon any works that I can offer.” Because if God and Jesus taught it I want to live it. 

Scripture based on:

Hosea 6:6

Matthew 9:10-13