Jesus was asked in Matthew 9:13 about why he was eating with sinners. His response to the Pharisees was to ask them to go and learn about the meaning of Hosea 6:6 ("I desire mercy and not sacrifice...")
Matthew 9:11,13 (NKJV) And when the Pharisees saw [it,] they said to His disciples, "Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" "But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."
Again in Matthew 12:7, he was questioned about why he allowed his disciples to rub heads of grain in their hands on the Sabbath. His response was that If they had learnt what Hosea 6:6 means as he had earlier instructed, then they would not have condemned the guiltless!
Matthew 12:2,7 (NKJV) And when the Pharisees saw [it,] they said to Him, "Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!" "But if you had known what [this] means, 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless.
Hosea 6:6 itself says:
Hosea:6.6 (NKJV) For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
I feel it must be really important for Jesus to have asked the Pharisees to learn the meaning of this passage on two separate occasions.
What are the layers of meaning associated with Hos 6:6 as regarding the contexts in which Jesus quoted it.