Theme: Fulfilling All Righteousness
Text: “Jesus answering said unto him, suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness”– Matthew 3:15.
John the Baptist in seeing Jesus coming to him for baptism became baffled, perplexed and astonished. He knew that Jesus was without sin, needed no repentance and was not expecting him to come for the baptism of repentance of sin. What John did not know was the spiritual fact which Paul later stated thus: “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh”- Roman 8:3. Christ was made sin for us. He bore the sin that was not his own. Therefore, as Jesus submitted in his infancy to the rite of circumcision; as his mother also after the birth of a sinless child went through the ordinance of purification, he submitted himself for ordinance of baptism.
As earlier stated, Jesus coming for the baptism of repentance was so strange to John that he tried to forbid him from been baptized by him. John did not forbid him for the reason that he was without sin but also because he saw himself unworthy to perform the rite. Jesus who knew for which purpose he came (to bear the sin of the world) explained to John that it was part of God’s programme for him.
This action of Jesus is an example to us all. It is our duty to fulfill all righteousness, and all God’s ordinances. We should not neglect any ordinance of God whether external or internal. We should avoid calling what God has commanded unimportant. No Christian should trivialise baptism and partaking of the Eucharist. Fulfilling all righteousness is not limited to church ordinances but also to all organizational and Institutional ordinances and laws. Every nation, organization and institution has its own directives, laws, regulations and processes for every member to follow. Circumventing them due to our status in the Society is a sin. For instance it is an order that when the traffic light flags red, vehicles should stop, disregarding it due to our status is a sin. The bane of Nigeria is the inability of its citizens to fulfill all righteousness.
Furthermore, in our Journey to our destinations in life, we cannot but fulfill all what God has ordained for us to fulfill. Taking short-cuts will simply prolong the Journey or thwart the glory God has in stock for us. Jesus had to be baptized in order to associate with the sinners he had come to save; he had to go to the cross to achieve the purpose for which he came. Let us take cue from him and patiently go through all God has ordained for us. It is in doing this that we can be fulfilled.
Very Revd Adewale Adebiyi Ph.D