Many religions place importance on doing something to gain God’s favor. Let me at the beginning just say; there is nothing you or I can do to gain God’s favor. There is no sacrifice, there is no sacrament, there is no good deed to your neighbor or the world which will gain you or me eternal life and/or the favor of Holy God.
This very mentality is what Jesus is addressing in the following verses:
“And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto His disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, He said unto them,
“They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, ‘I will have mercy, and not sacrifice:’ for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matthew 9:10-13 (KJV)
When Jesus was ministering to the publicans (tax collectors) and sinners the religious leaders began questioning Jesus’s purpose, power, and ministry. “What kind of man would sit with tax collectors and sinners?” they were asking themselves, and the disciples.
There is only one sacrifice which God the Father accepts; and that is the sacrifice, the death of His only begotten Son. Still the religious; the self-righteous try to gain the favor; the grace; of God through sacrifice and sacrament.
God shows grace and mercy to the sinner who will come to Him through the cross of His Son Jesus with a repentant heart. Through the act of repentance on the part of the sinner, trusting Christ Jesus, God clothes the sinner in the righteousness of God the Son.
You may be a righteous person today. You cannot be saved. Until you see yourself as the sinner your really are you will remain lost, condemned, dying, guilty, and spiritually dead.
Come to the Father through the cross of Jesus. Sinner hear Him and be saved. He came to save the sinner.