Jesus told his disciples their righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. What did he mean?
Righteousness is right doing according to the standard of God’s word (Psalm 119:160; 145:17). The Pharisees thought they were righteous —they were not— they thought they were righteous because of their ritual observance of the ceremonial law of Moses. They were, however, certainly unrighteous. The righteousness that exceeds that Jesus describes is one based on obedience to God’s word.
Today, many people don’t understand that obedience is what God wants. It is what he has always wanted. Righteousness is not “infused” in people. It is what they are because of obedience.