Never underestimate the ignorance of your…self. That is a perryphrase of a popular saying given to speakers. Everyone once in a while I discover something I didn’t know, and often it is simple. There is a phrase in the baptism scene of Jesus where He says to His cousin and baptizer, ”Allow it for now, because this is the way for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Mt.17:15) Ever since then people have wondered what this enigmatic phrase means. Sometimes the simplest answer is the best. In one of the servant passages of Isaiah, he prophesies: Isaiah 42:1 (HCSB) “This is My Servant; I strengthen Him, this is My Chosen One; I delight in Him. I have put My Spirit on Him; He will bring justice to the nations.
Notice the chiastic arrangement in fulfillment:
- A – “This is My Servant; I strengthen Him, this is My Chosen One; I delight in Him (Is.42:1a).
- B – “I have put My Spirit on Him” (Is.42:1b).
- C – “He will bring justice to the nations” (Is.42:1c).
- C’ – “Allow it for now, because this is the way for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Mt.3:15).
- B’ – “The heavens suddenly opened for Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on Him (Mt.3:16).
- A’ – “This is my beloved Son, I take delight in Him.” (Mt.3:17).
To fulfill all righteousness simply means to bring justice to the nations. The baptism of Jesus is not the only act of fulfilling all righteousness, it is simply the beginning (Isaiah 42:4).