10 but concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see Me no longer.
5 Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of Righteousness.
It is helpful for us to look at the meaning of righteousness. It is not a word that is in general use, but is more used amongst Christians. The majority of translations use the word ‘righteousness’ to translate the Greek word ‘dikaiosune’.
God’s Word Translation has ‘God’s approval’, and the Douay-Reims Bible translates the word as ‘justice’.
Whereas the Good News Bible translates dikaiosune as what is right.
The meaning of righteousness is that which is just and fair, justice. In the New Testament it is primarily that which is right before God, that which has God’s approval.
The righteousness of Jesus means that He had God’s total approval. There were no gaps in the rightness of anything Jesus said and did, unlike us. Our righteousness is described as our sins being like filthy rags:
We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind – Isaiah 64.6 (NLT).
Jesus was condemned to death as a Jewish teacher who taught people things believed to be anti the word of God (Old Testament). He was put to death by the Romans as a man who was politically dangerous. Both Jews and Gentiles could see nothing right with Jesus. The Jews were convinced that they were right and just in having Jesus killed. They believed that they, and not Jesus, had God’s approval. They were convinced that they were the ‘righteous’ ones.
However, within a few weeks their hearts were changed, and they became convinced that Jesus was the righteous one, and that He was the one who had God’s approval.
How did this happen? It was when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost and He convicted the crowds about the rightness of Jesus, and that He had the approval, and the endorsement of God, the Father.
It is the Holy Spirit who continues to change the hearts of people to be convinced that the ways of Jesus are right, and have God’s approval.