Thursday, March 19, 2015

Matthew 3:13-15 -- On Fulfilling All Righteousness

"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him."
Matthew 3:13-15

It's interesting that Jesus, a sinless person, needed to "fulfil all righteousness" by being baptized, which after all is the ordinance we go through to cleanse us from sin.  I think, for him, it may have been a bit of busywork... non-essential to his salvation in the way originally designed, but perhaps essential to his salvation just in the idea that it is something that God requires of everyone, and so even though he was above it in every way, he still did it to please Heavenly Father.  And, in fact, two verses after this selection everyone hears his Father's voice from heaven saying that he is pleased.
I think that we all have similar things in our lives... not that we are sinless, but we all have things that we are *really* good at, and sometimes we have to jump through essentially pointless hoops anyway... like a math genius asked to "show his work" on the math test.  Maybe you have to slow your mind down and work backwards to write down something that your brain never really went through.
Maybe what we can take away from these verses is the need to have patience even when we feel like we've already learned the lesson.  I think there is always going to be some space between mastery and "fulfilling all righteousness."  Maybe because part of life is learning patience and endurance as well... and maybe just because the gospel is for everyone, not just us, and not just Christ.  And just as he needed to be humble and set an example in getting baptized, we all need to be humble, set an example, and be patient with things in life that we think we are above, or feel like we've already been through.  Sometimes we're mistaken, and there really is more to learn... and even when we're not wrong, there is still something more to learn, not about that, but perhaps about humility, endurance, and patience.  Let's look to God today and talk to him about our lessons that seem to last well beyond their expiration dates.  Let's be willing to fulfill all righteousness in enduring whatever the will of God is, and if we can't find that willingness within us, let's ask God to help us learn *that* lesson. :)


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