“Yahweh has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.” (Psalm 103: 19)
Yahweh is our Righteousness
There is a huge difference between being religious and being faithful. Faithfulness is required. Religiosity is not.
Matthew 9: 9-13 makes those points in a subtle way:
9 As the Messiah went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him. 10 Then it happened that as the Messiah was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Him and His disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when the Messiah heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Matthew became a disciple, but he was tax collector when he met the Messiah. Tax collectors were despised because they were known to be swindlers and cheats. It’s highly likely that Matthew was both of those things the day he met Yeshua, but his life was about to change.
When Matthew met the Messiah, he invited Him to his house for a meal. Matthew had a longing to know the Messiah, but the Pharisees who followed the Messiah around looking for a way to accuse him could see only the fact that sinners and tax collectors were fraternizing with Him.
Verses 12 and 13 are key. In verse 12, the Messiah told the Pharisees,
“It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.”
Matthew and the others who were with him that day knew that they were sick, and they knew that the Messiah could heal them. The Pharisees thought they were righteous. They thought that they didn’t need any help, but they were wrong. They were sick, too. That’s what the Messiah was telling them in verse 12.
In a subtle way, in verse 13 the Messiah told the Pharisees that they were a bunch of hypocrites:
“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
The Messiah was quoting Hosea 6: 6. Yahweh told the prophets on many occasions that He desires faithfulness, not sacrifices and burnt offerings. They missed His point and substituted religiosity for faithfulness. So did the Pharisees that day.
Yahweh sees the hearts of men and women. Matthew and his friends were heading in the right direction, but the Pharisees were heading in the wrong direction.
None of us is righteous. All of us need a Savior. The Messiah is that Person.
King David knew it:
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no Elohim,” They are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice; there is no one who does good. Elohim has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there is anyone who understands, who seeks after Elohim. Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. (Psalm 53: 1-3)
Isaiah knew it:
For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isaiah 64: 6)
Jeremiah knew it:
“Behold, the days are coming,” declares Yahweh, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His Name by which He will be called, ‘Yahweh our righteousness.’ [Yahweh Tsidkenu]” (Jeremiah 23: 5-6)
The Messiah is our righteousness. He is Yahweh Tsidkenu. Apart from Him, we have no righteousness. He alone is our Savior and our Redeemer. If we refuse to accept His blood sacrifice on our behalf, we are doomed.
It’s our decision. His work is finished. He paid the price for us, but we must choose to accept his gift and place our faith in Him.
Blessed are those who know the truth about themselves. Those who think they are good enough without the Messiah are bound for destruction.
“If My people who are called by My Name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7: 14)
Change that Yahweh calls “good” begins in the hearts of believers—people who are recognizable because they are different.
We are different because we belong to Him and are called by His Name. We are Yahweh’s people, His followers.
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“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17: 22-24)
See “His Name is Yahweh”.