Matthew 5:48 “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
This verse contains the important teaching of Jesus as part of the sermon on the Mount. In this article and the articles that will follow, we shall explore a few areas that we need to be perfect just as our heavenly Father is perfect.
Before we continue, please note that by being perfect, Jesus meant that there should be constant, steady progress towards becoming fully like Him or His Father. Jesus isn’t expecting us to become perfect the first day/night we meet Him. That’ll be physically and spiritually impossible. However, He expects that as we grow in the knowledge of God, we should become more like Him.
God is a principled being who takes His children from one step to another into a deep intimate relationship with Him. Being our Creator, He understands human nature and having lived as man He appreciates our frailty (Hebrews 4:15).
I still think that one of the reasons Jesus became flesh was to experience the imperfect nature of the flesh and understand how I feel when I’m tempted and tried. If He remained only a ‘Spirit God’ we would have some reservation whenever He poses as one that understands our trials and pains.
Jesus is a qualified Mediator because He has a taste of both worlds. It takes one who has suffered weakness, failures, lack, ridicule, stigmatization, to help those who are weak, who have failed and that are in lack, mocked and stigmatized.
As a preamble, I’d like to say that verses 43 through 48 is really an explication of the law on brotherly love which can be found in these scriptures – Leviticus 19:17-18. Matthew 22:39. Luke 10:27 – 37. 1 John 4:8; John 13:35. Deut. 23:3-6.
Deuteronomy 23:3-6 might seem to contradict God’s law of love but it’s not exactly so because: God had already appointed these people for destruction because of their wickedness.
Also, these countries vowed to wipe out Israel, thus attempting to abort the plan of God for the salvation of mankind by the Messiah.
Furthermore, immediately in verses 7 and 8 God counsels to allow strangers into the congregation, including Egypt that oppressed Israel. Now, when Jesus came, He tried to throw some light on this area because the Jews had gone far to infer that God commanded them to hate their enemies. By enemies implying anyone who wasn’t of their country and religion, together with those Israelites who weren’t their friends.
It’s saddening how low human nature can degenerate! So, Jesus knowing this wicked nature of man commanded love even for enemies.
You see, men in their evil disposition always tend to twist God’s Word to justify their actions.
What is LOVE?
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:16-18 KJV
LOVE is really a compound word for several things including giving, forgiveness, care, encouragement, respect, service, prayers, guidance etc.
Click here to continue to the second part where we explore the various areas we need to show love.