Food for ThoughtMatthew 5:20 Righteousness
Food for Thought
An Guide to Kingdom Living. True Christian living requires us to live according to Kingdom standards which bring Heaven to earth

By: Marni Montanez

Matthew 5:20 New King James Version

20. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

The definition of a Phar·i·see is a member of an ancient Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of the traditional and written law, and commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity; a self-righteous person; a hypocrite.

The definition of scribes is a person who copies out documents, especially one employed to do this before printing was invented.

Both are learned people who held high positions in society.  They knew the scripture and the religious ceremonies and rituals required by the law.  They were looked up to and because of their educated minds and superior attitudes, they were considered to be wise and important.  They were given so much power in their community that people were afraid of them. Many of them arrogantly approached the people with harsh and condemning judgement.

Their inability to humble themselves came from a place of self-righteousness that did not reflect the righteousness of God.    

God is telling us in this verse, that we are to exceed the prideful manner of self aggrandizement that is fleshly and hostile to God.  What these religious men had was not righteousness.

 The actions of the Pharisees and scribes was pretentious and they presented themselves as holy and untouchable.   

But Jesus, who reigns with supreme authority, walked among the sinners and the physically flawed.  He humbled Himself to the plans and purposes of God and chose to submit with abandon. God is asking us to do the same.

We are to take on Jesus’  righteousness.

2 Corinthians 5:21 New Living Translation

21. For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

The only way we can be truly righteous is when we give our life to Jesus and take on His righteousness.   We cannot get there on our own by good works. Our flesh must be put to death in that it must not be given any power or authority to rule our lives.  The more we fill our minds and lives up with godly things, the more we are putting ourselves in the center of His will and we are covered in Him. Just by our position when we are born again, makes us righteous

Prayer:  Father, I pray for your heart to be ours and that we would learn the beauty of true submission to you.  I pray we receive your righteousness as we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

God bless


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lamb-rightThe purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.