One of the admonishments of Jesus which has become very debatable in the Kingdom is “be perfect”. Many people including believers have considered the whole issue of perfection to be something impossible. I do believe the same too. As far as we are in this world struggle for perfection is only but a tribulation. Perfection is a state of excellence without faults, errors or flaws. This state cannot be achieved easily in the earth realm because nuggets of evil thoughts, lusts, etc. bombard us round about daily.
In Matthew Jesus said, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” How can a just God task His subjects with a mission impossible? God cannot (and will not) ask us to do something we cannot do. Jesus wasn’t taking about the state excellence with flawless moral nature or any such thing, but He was admonishing those people to be perfect in love. With regards to love does Jesus commands us to be perfect.
The preceding verses reveal that Jesus was talking about love. He began by addressing the Pharisaic law that “…hate your enemy.” which was probably siphoned from Exodus 17:14-16 and Deuteronomy 7:1, 2; 23:3-6. This Pharisaic law prevented the people from even greeting (or talking) to their enemies. Indubitably these are common practices in our days too.
Jesus’ teaching plainly brings us to the awareness that by loving our neighbour alone we are imperfect (in love). It is easier to love our neighbours than our enemies. An enemy is somebody who hates and seeks to harm somebody or something. Jesus reveals that till we are able to love both our neighbours and enemies we are not perfect.
Jesus likens this perfection we ought to attain to that of our Father in heaven. We should love like the Father loves is the message of Jesus which has suffered ignominious misapprehension. God’s love is not discriminative because “…He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust…” God loved us his enemies to the point of orchestrating salvation for our own benefit (Jn. 3:16; Jas. 4:4). Loving like God is perfection.
If you love like God you will “…love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” This is not an easy task but it an accomplishable mission. It is imperative that perfection in love abounds unto the excellent type of perfection – if not absolutely then to the closest proximity imaginable.
Matthew 5:43-48, NKJV
“You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
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