The disciples were doing good. They were doing what they could to serve their rabbi and take care of His needs.
+ They made sure He had a place to rest
+ They did the work of finding food
+ And when they came back they tried to get Him to eat as they watched all these people begin to stream out of Sychar towards them.
Their whole focus was on the physical plane, thinking about Jesus’ physical needs, not on the spiritual plane, realizing the amazing spiritual birth that had taken place in the Samaritan woman, and the immediate spiritual fruit all these people coming towards them meant.
Jesus was training His disciples to recognize a different kind of being good than simply serving Him by taking care of His physical needs. This kind of work, providing for your family, is good work. But there is an even more important work that transcends the needs of earthly life, and that is meeting the need for eternal life.
The Lord was opening His disciples’ eyes to the deep satisfaction of true righteousness, believing in Him and doing God’s will. This kind of righteousness wasn’t unknown to Jewish thinking. The Jewish concept of wisdom was what a person needed to know in their heart and mind to live a life of righteousness.
Wisdom and a life of righteousness are, in other words, inseparable.
Every person, regardless of their cultural and religious background, understands God’s Moral Law. And because we understand it, deep down, that can fool us into thinking we’re good people. The temptation is to reassure ourselves of our own righteousness by comparing ourselves with someone who seems less mature, less righteous.
But the standard for righteousness is perfection, it is God’s standard, not people’s standards.
Righteousness means just what it sounds like: “Right - ness.” The human definition of righteousness is more about character traits and outward conduct, while God’s righteousness is an expression of His divinity, His holiness.
-->Since righteousness and goodness flow out from the character of God Himself as a part of His attributes, as part of His nature, righteousness is actually a matter of your inner essence.<--Righteousness refers to a right standing with God, free from guilt and sin.
[More on Righteousness Next Sunday]
All passages taken from the New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.