“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.” (Matthew 9:13)
What does Jesus want? He wants to show mercy to mankind. He doesn’t want any to burn in hell. He did not come into the world to condemn us, but to save us. His mercy is His hand extended, it is His offer of help. No matter how messed up we are, He wants to fix us. No matter how sick we are, He wants to heal us. We need a good Doctor, and Jesus is His name.
This one thing is what the Pharisees did not understand. They thought God was interested in what they “brought to the table,” when just the opposite was true. The Lord would spread a table before us. He expects us to come to Him – poor, empty, hungry. He says, “Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” (Psalm 81:10)
Before we can ever be on the giving end we must be on the receiving end. We can only ever give back to God what He has first given us. It is “by the mercies of God” that we give Him our bodies as a “living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.” (Rom. 12:1) Yes, God does want from us. He wants all of us. But who ever expects a pauper to be a giver? We must first acknowledge our deep poverty, our great need of God’s help, before we have anything to give back to Him.
Make sure you understand the proper order. Get first what God wants to give you in Christ: He would give you “all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3) Only after you have received from Him, will you have something to offer on His altar.