Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. Matthew 3:15
Did You Know?
That the Bible is written in three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Herbrew. Genesis to Malachi are in the Hebrew and Aramaic languages. Matthew to Revelation are in Greek.
One of Jesus’ first teachings is found in Matthew 3:15. This is the first time we see him speaking in the Book of Matthew. The context is being baptized in water by John, whose ministry and this baptism was to diminish.
This teaching is about fulfilling or doing to completion righteousness or what is right. Righteous by whose standard or definition? Well, not ours. But the rightness of God. If there is righteousness, there is unrighteousness. Or, put simply, doing what is not right. Other expressions for unrighteousness are wickedness and evil.
Mankind has a problem with righteousness or doing what is right. Each one creates his own standards and narratives for what is right. To one, to do the right thing is wicked to another. To another, to do a wicked thing is viewed as right to the other. Thus, there is confusion in the world and among the masses over what is right and what is wrong. What is righteous and what is unrighteous. What is good and what is bad.
Deadly wars have been and are still being fought today over what is right and wrong. For example, on January 3, 2020, the United States assassinated in a drone attack Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani. According to Donald Trump, it was a necessary action because Soleimani was planning a major attack that would have killed many Americans. Well, the assassination of Soleimani is considered a righteous (right and good) act from the viewpoint of Donald Trump and the many who agree with him. Yet, from the viewpoint of many Iranians who loved Soleimani, it was an unrighteous act. Thus, what ensues is tension and a possible escalation of a long and drawn-out war. I am sure God was not consulted by either side.
Yet, taught that it is proper for us to fulfill all righteousness. Thus, when John the Baptizer attempted to prevent Jesus from being baptized in water by him, Jesus was communicating to John and all present that the right thing to do (as set as the standard by his God and Father) was that John baptized him in water. Why?
Because it would show to all that John’s ministry and practice of baptizing in water for the repentance of sins would end and that Jesus’ ministry would begin with a new and greater baptism, not of water. (Matthew 3:11)
So, from that historic day forward when Jesus commanded John to baptize him in water and holy spirit came upon him, there would be no more water baptisms. That day would see the last water baptism. That is why Jesus said,
Let it be so now …
Thus, anyone today getting baptism in water is doing an unrighteous thing as it is the baptism of a ministry that ended long ago.
The right baptism is that of Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit and fire. (Matthew 3:11)
So, when Jesus taught and showed by example that we are to fulfill all righteousness, the right thing to do is seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire.
Today, one doing what is righteous by God’s standards would be an unpopular person. If I echo Christ’s teaching that water baptism is not the right thing to do, I would not be popular as this view is not popular in the world.
Yet, the right thing to do is seek God’s rightness as humans, our view of what is right and wrong, good and bad, and righteousness and unrighteousness are severely flawed because we are flawed.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
So, let us seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness so that we will be able to learn and know – thru His only Spokesman, Christ Jesus – what His righteousness is and be able to fulfill all righteousness and NOT do what is wrong and improper.
Please do not make the mistake that it is within religious systems (to include Christianity) or books (such as the Bible) are how one comes to know God’s righteousness (rightness) and come to fulfill it. None of those things is the way.