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Righteousness Supersedes Being Right
When Jesus went to be baptized by John the Baptist, John refused saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” (Matthew 3:14)
John realized that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah and understood that he needed to be baptized by Jesus and not the other way around. And even though John was correct in his assessment, Jesus understood that doing righteously superseded tradition and even hierarchy.
Jesus said, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” (Matthew 3:15)
Although Jesus was greater, fulfilling God’s call and humbling Himself was the righteous act.
To the religious leaders Jesus continued this thought of doing righteously superseded tradition in how they said people should honor their parents, but nullified God’s law through a loophole they created.
“Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? … Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” (Matthew 15:3, 6-9)
And while this may sound a little confusing, there are lessons to be learned.
• “Finder Keepers,” yet righteousness finds the owner and returns what was lost.
• Or while we might be right in our argument, righteousness would rather lose the argument to save the relationship.
Doing the righteous thing is of far greater worth than being right. This was the Apostle Peter’s take when he said, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil … But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed.” (1 Peter 3:12, 14a)
Wednesday Evening Bible Study