How the hearts must have sank for the people of Jesus’ day when He said, “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” The people knew this would be impossible. The Pharisees kept the Law to an extreme. They created laws on top of the Law laid out to Moses just to be sure that they would not accidentally break a law.
How could ordinary people even dream of having a righteousness that would surpass their religious leaders? Then Jesus clarified that the thoughts were just as damning as the actions! To hate someone was as bad as murder, to lust as bad as adultery!
Why were the standards impossibly high? Because God Himself is holy; His righteousness is perfect. Jesus was helping us to see that we had to be holy if we hoped to fellowship with a Holy God. “But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written, ‘Be holy, because I am Holy.’” (1 Peter 1:15-16)
Where can we get this holiness?
Where can we get this extreme righteousness?
In this message, discover four more things that
Jesus reveals about our Heavenly Father.
Also discover how we can hope in spite of
God’s demands of perfect holiness!