ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτόν· ἄφες ἄρτι, οὕτως γὰρ πρέπον ἐστὶν ἡμῖν πληρῶσαι πᾶσαν δικαιοσύνην.
Then Jesus answering said to him (John the Baptist), " Leave it for now, for it is right for us to fulfill every bit of righteousness (NBT - "New Bert Translation").
Where in the Torah does it say anything about the question at hand, that John brings up by his not wanting to baptize Jesus? Nowhere! This teaches us that "righteousness" to Jesus is not just a matter of the finding and application of the commandments written in the Torah. "Righteousness is something other, or laying alongside, which draws our attention, or something embodies in the written which can be deepened or extracted or applied to new circumstances or generations, etc. This should give you relief that you didn't have to stone your son to death, as the law required, when he entered his rebellious stage.
It also explains why Jesus ate, and gave his men to eat the holy Lechem Hapanim, the Bread of Presence reserved only for the High Priest - his men were hungry and there was nothing else to give them! It explain why to Jesus, work on the Sabbath takes second place when it comes to weightier matters - like helping someone who really needs it (come on, you know the difference!), And there are other examples.
O, that men would learn how to interpret Scripture - by going deeper! O, to be Scribes of the Kingdom, bringing out the New with the Old!
Yes, Jesus came to fulfill the Torah. "Plerosai" (lemale') - to FULFILL the Torah, not keep the Torah (though He keeps it His own way), as do the Religious keep, not teach the Torah (athough He did do that in a greater than Moses way), but to fulfill. No other Rabbi claimed or did that! No, the whole law must be kept and our righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Pharisee and the Scribe. even to the last Jot and Tittle. But what is a Jot?
A Jot is the smallest letter of the Hebrew language - a Yod, if you will, and the most flexible. Sometimes it is left out, sometimes printed, sometimes it is pronounced as a consonant "Y", sometimes it pronounced as a vowel, an "ee" sound. You can hardly see it. But you are to observe it, honor it, apply it to you and your people as they are and have come to be. So your righteousness is something far beyond just doing it, "according to the Elders".
"And the "Tittel". What is that? it is only (get ready for this, dear friends), it is only a beauty mark, on only certain letters. It looks like a Crown (and sometimes called that) , or rays emanating from the letter, or a flip of the pen or brush in any of the stern letters that can bear it. It means nothing else. So don't forget, my dear grammarians, the beauties of things, the intangibles, the slight smiles looking for recognition and warmth, all the things that are so readily passed by. All righteousness. That is righteousness according to Jesus! Righteousness, what Jesus means by it. If you can't see this, maybe you are standing too tall!"
How many people are trapped into Slavery Once Again. You see, Jesus knew and embodied the Truth. Paul knew it, and wished his generation be freed from servitude of this world to serve the Risen Jesus (there is no difference between the religion of Paul and the religion of Jesus). And what more can we say - but this: See how all this is fulfilled, made real and concrete, by the wonderful person of the Holy Spirit. Do bot leave Him out of the equation!