This is the fourth in a series of blogs on the ease of reading the words of Jesus in the book of Matthew … and the difficulty of following them.
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
So, I’m supposed to be perfect. Wow, that seems a bit of a stretch.
Unfortunately, in verses 21-47 (Matthew 5th chapter) “a bit of a stretch” is stretched even further: Jesus placed a high threshold on perfection. To be perfect, all I need to do is:
Never be angry with my bother without a cause;
Never look at a woman with lust (that’s adultery);
Always let my “yes” mean “yes,” and my “no” mean “no”;
When I’m slapped, turn the other cheek;
When someone sues me for my tunic, I’m to give him my cloak, too [Note: the good news on this one is that I don’t own a tunic or a cloak];
Someone makes me to walk one mile with him, I’m to go two miles; and
I am to love my enemies.
I’m sure the list could go on and on, because to be perfect means not only to be perfect in the things mentioned in Matthew 5: 21-47, but in all things! “All things” makes for quite a list.
The bottom line is that there is no way I, all by myself, can be perfect. Even trying to be perfect is an act of pride (and foolishness) that would qualify me as a moral failure. And the bad news about imperfection is that one imperfection makes me imperfect – forever.
To be perfect, I need a “forever perfect” on my side as a substitute for my imperfection – and that’s Jesus. It’s in Him that the Father sees perfection.
#1 So Easy To Read, So Hard To Do: Do Not Worry (Matthew 6:25) (I)
#2 So Easy To Read, So Hard To Do: That’s Blessed? (Matthew 5:11) (II)
#3 So Easy to Read, So Hard To Do: I Am The Light of the World? (Matthew 5:14) (III)