“Some people are such jerks!  Can you believe what that guy just did to me?  I wish some people would get their act together.  Why can’t they just grow up?”

Have you ever said or thought things like that?  I have.  All the time.  In fact when it comes down to it, there are very few people who live up to my expectations, and I’m probably the worst offender.

Jesus and His disciples were walking through the grain fields on a Sabbath day.  As they walked, the disciples were picking wheat and eating it. When the Pharisees saw it, they complained to Jesus that the disciples were breaking their law. Jesus went on to explain to these hypocrites that not only were the disciples perfectly okay in eating like this, but the ones who were really offensive to God were the Pharisees.  Jesus said to them, “But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.” (Mat 12:7)
Sometimes we, like the Pharisees, have the wrong expectations of people.  And like the Pharisees, we can even trick ourselves into thinking that God has the same expectations that we do.  Now don’t misunderstand me, God does have expectations of us.  But sometimes His expectations aren’t like ours.  Jesus said that a chief quality that God cherishes is mercy.  God has oceans of mercy to pour out on me.  And He would love it if I became so saturated with His mercy, that I in turn would be merciful to others.  Take a deep breath.  Forget about the “jerk” you’re wrestling with.  Reflect His mercy.