There is a tension in our lives born of the Law, in relation to the freedom offered and received in Christ by faith. The Law encourages us to do many things that can be called good, but they are always done for selfish reasons. This alone explains why our flesh, that old Adam in each of us delights in the Law. Not as a reflection of the truth of who God is, and what His will is for His creation, but as a list of things to do. So we let ourselves off the hook so to speak for our sinful desires, and selfish motivations if we simply check of the to do list of the Law. Like the fig leaves used by Adam and Eve, the bare letter of the Law is used to cover the inner reality of sin in each of our hearts.
Christ Jesus came, not to hand us a list of what to do, but rather to set us free from the death born of sin, uncovered in the Law. This is the Gospel of God, that our Lord, because of His great love and mercy for us, took upon Himself to save us. He faced the full reality of sin. He climbed upon the wooded beams of our own destruction, and on the cross Jesus shed His blood, that we may have life in His Name. God is a God of mercy, who desires mercy from His people.
This tension of Gospel freedom by the forgiveness of God and the delight of the sinful flesh for the Law is on full display as Jesus comes to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees. On the Sabbath day no less, these religious leaders, exemplars of legal piety test the mercy of Jesus by purposely hiring a sick man to serve our Lord his meal. Would Jesus have mercy and heal this man, or would He follow the letter of the Sabbath laws, and refrain from doing any work, even a work of love toward the neighbor in favor of the law?
Of course, Jesus heals the man, then, by His Word shows that mercy is greater than the selfish works of following man made regulations of the law. Faith in this Jesus always leads to acts of mercy. Acts of compassion by which you share the mercy you received with the neighbor you have been given.