Burnt Offerings and Sacrifices


In Mark 12, Jesus highlighted the most important commandment in their scriptures. To love God and to love others is the most important and one responded by saying the following:

To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices (Mark 12:33).

Nobody would have argued that loving God with your whole being is the greatest commandment. But, was loving others more important than burnt offerings and sacrifices? This was a wild statement. Burnt offerings and sacrifices were the worship of their day. They would have said things like, "I don't have time to care for the orphans and widows, but it’s okay because I give sacrifices and burnt sacrifices. I need to take revenge on my neighbor, but I give sacrifices and burnt offerings which are more important to God." So, what are the burnt offerings and sacrifices of our day? What do we make more important than loving people? Do you choose not to forgive someone but then go to church and think that is going to be make up for it? Do you choose to ignore the hurting but then give to charity and think that it’s going to make up for it?

There are many times in Scripture where God rebukes his people for neglecting to show love to others (Isaiah58:6, Psalm 51:16-17, Micah 6:8). These same rebukes apply to us today.