But go you and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous…
I. THAT NATURAL RELIGION IS LIFE FOUNDATION OF ALL INSTITUTED AND REVEALED RELIGION. Our Lord owns that which the Pharisees objected, but purified it —
1. By telling them that it was allowed to a physician no converse with the sick in order to their cure.
2. By endeavouring to convince them of the true nature of religion, and of the order of the several duties thereby required.Natural and moral duties more obligatory than ritual and positive; showing mercy is a prime instance of these moral duties - sacrifice is an instance of positive and ritual observances.
1. That the Jewish Scriptures everywhere speaks of these as the main duties the Jewish religion.
2. That no instituted service of God, no positive part of religion, was ever acceptable to Him, when these were neglected Isaiah 1:11; Jeremiah 7:1, 5).
3. The great design of the Christian religion is to restore and reinforce the practice of the natural law (Titus 2:11, 12; James 1:27).
II. THAT NO REVEALED RELIGION WAS EVER DESTINED TO TAKE AWAY THE OBLIGATION OF NATURAL DUTIES, BUT TO ESTABLISH THEM.
1. That all revealed religion calls men to the practice of natural duties.
2. The most perfect revelation that ever God made, furnishes helps for the performance of moral duties.
3. The positive rites of revealed religion are shown to be subordinate to them.
(J. Tillotson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.