Okay, let’s start this Monday morning with a quick review of the six topics I am watching for as I read through my Bible this year, taken from Hebrews 6:1-2:
- Repentance from dead works
- Faith toward God
- The doctrine of baptisms (washings from unclean things)
- The laying on of hands (authority)
- The resurrection of the dead
- Eternal judgment
In all three sections of Scripture I read this morning, I saw several of these topics, but it’s an awful lot to cover in one morning. But let me see if you found some, too:
Job talks about clean and unclean things in Job 14:4 — “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one!” If we were to take a bath in a tub of putrid water, would we be clean? Nope! (This topic is also discussed in Haggai 2… but that will be many months from now.)
Job spoke about the resurrection of the dead in Job 14:5-15. This is a fairly long section, but I would summarize it by saying that even if He hides us in the grave, we will live again, for He will call us forth from the grave and He will give us new life! (This topic is also discussed in 1 Corinthians 15… but that will be many months from now.)
“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
He also shall be my salvation…” (Job 13:15-16).
The resurrection is all about the Father’s mercy for us! Through Yeshua, He made a way for the penalty of death — which we all deserve — to be conquered.
“Consider and hear me, YHVH my God;
Enlighten my eyes,
Lest I sleep the sleep of death…
But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to YHVH,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me” (Psalm 13:3,5,6).
And what does Yeshua’s name mean? Salvation (Matthew 1:21). The Hebrew word Yeshua (Strong’s #3444) is salvation, יְשׁוּעָה. It means “relief; deliverance or freedom from a trouble, burden or danger.”
- Go back and read those passages above, substituting the word Yeshua for the word salvation.
And then we see that mercy, compassion, and deliverance are the theme of Matthew 9.
Yeshua exercised his authority over sickness, disease, demons, and even death! But please note there is one more thing He exercised authority over, which made the religious leaders upset:
Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Yeshua saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”
And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!”
But Yeshua, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house” (Matthew 9:2-6).
- Go back through that passage and, this time, substitute the word salvation for the word Yeshua.
The biggest thing we need relief and deliverance from is our sin! In the case of this paralytic man, we don’t know if he was repentant of his sin or was even aware of his sin, but it does seem clear that his sin was keeping him on that bed.
We can’t see into people’s hearts to see sin or what it’s causing. We can only see the outside. But Yeshua, full of mercy and salvation, not only heals the outward symptoms but the inward cause. He has the authority to do that, but He also has the compassion and mercy to do that.
So even though it looks like a very unclean thing to sit at dinner with the worst of sinners and the tax collectors, He desired to bring them relief from their sin. To do that, He had to have a relationship with them. He had to eat with them and spend time with them.
Now it happened, as Yeshua sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
When Yeshua heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 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.” (Matthew 9:10-13).
- One more time, go back through that passage and substitute the word salvation for the word Yeshua. Isn’t it amazing that relief and deliverance had come to their house? I am trying to think how relieved I would have felt in their place!
We already established on an earlier day that we are to make distinctions between the clean and the unclean, for even as we read in Job 14:4 today, we cannot bring a clean thing out of an unclean.
But if we are spending time with the “unclean sinners” of this world for the purpose of telling them about the mercy and relief they can have, to call them to repentance, then we are bringing the clean water of the Word to their hearts.
On the other hand, if we are desiring in the secret places of our hearts to get away with sin and to minimize its uncleanness, so we go to eat with sinners in order to join with them in their sin while still hoping we appear righteous on the outside, then we are just trying to bring something clean out of something unclean.
It’s all about our hearts, not about the outward appearance. We can do “sacrifice” and deeds of righteousness outwardly but have an unclean heart. Or we can reach out to those living in sin but seeking relief, a savior, so that they can be made clean.
Those are some of the things I noticed today. What did you notice? Please leave a comment!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture in this blog post taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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