You’ve heard the saying, “I could care less.” That should really be said, “I couldn’t care less.”
If you’re a little older you remember the saying, “I don’t give a care.”
And if you’re even older you may remember the saying, “I don’t care one iota.”
What’s an iota?
An iota is the ninth letter of the Greek alphabet, translated as “i.” (During the Roman and Byzantine eras, the iota, now mute, was sometimes still written as a normal letter but was often simply left out. Wickipedia)
Why am I thankful for the iota?
Because it was important to Jesus.
“For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” Matthew 5:18(ESV)
The verse before says:
“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.” v. 17
And those after:
“So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!” v. 19–20
Every iota of the Law matters. Our obedience matters. But that’s not the part I like or even the part I’m thankful for because I can’t come close to righteously obeying God’s Law.
But Jesus did…
I’m thankful for the iota because it reminds me that Jesus obeyed every detail of the Law perfectly . . . down to the very last iota. And He did it for you and me. He obeyed every iota of the Law so that through His death and resurrection we are covered by His righteousness. We are covered by His perfection.
Quotes – Covered by Jesus’ Righteousness
“It is not good for us to trust in our merits, in our virtues or our righteousness; but only in God’s free pardon, as given us through faith in Jesus Christ.” ~John Wycliffe
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. Romans 3:22
“God revealed Himself through the Law, which pointed to Christ as its end and goal, commanded the obedience that comes from faith, increased transgressions, and shut the mouths of all humans because no one has performed the righteousness of the Law so as not to need a substitute.” ~John Piper
I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with Himself depends on faith. Philippians 3:9
“Man approaches God most nearly when he is in one sense least like God. For what can be more unlike than fullness and need, sovereignty and humility, righteousness and penitence, limitless power and a cry for help?” ~C.S. Lewis
So, stop today and thank God for the iota. For Jesus who kept the Law perfectly for you, and for the Father who sees you covered by His Son’s righteousness.
Father, Thank you! You know that no matter how hard your children try we are unable to keep Your Law perfectly. We try and we fail. And You made a way. You gave us the Way, Jesus . . . who kept Your Law with perfection as a substitute for our imperfection. Jesus, who suffered our punishment. Jesus, who died our death. Father, the tiniest detail is important to You. So important that You took care of each one for us. Thank You. We love You. We thank You. In Jesus name. Amen.