i ended yesterday’s front porch with, “allow yourself and other people to make mistakes.” but some people will say, “but what about matthew 5.48? JESUS said, be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly FATHER is perfect. i think that verse is probably one of the most misunderstood verses in the bible. you always interpret a verse by two things: the words, the root words, the meaning of those words – in this case the word “perfect”, and the context – what is it saying in light of the whole chapter?
in the first place the word “perfect” is the word teleios. this greek word means full... end... goal ... purpose. GOD is saying fulfill your purpose. a pen is no use to anybody unless it fulfills its purpose. your life has a purpose and GOD says, “be perfect. be right in the center of GOD’s will. fulfill your purpose.”
the context of the passage: it says, “be perfect, therefore...” always find out what the “therefore” is there for. JESUS is saying, “in light of everything i’ve just said, be perfect.” right before it, HE’s talking about loving unlovely people. HE’s saying that love is the essence of perfection. paul repeated it in colossians 3.14 (nkj). he said, love is the bond of perfection.
when i love GOD, love others, love myself, i am being perfect. i’m fulfilling the purpose for which i was made.
that’s why JESUS said, “the whole bible can be summed up in two statements. love GOD with all your heart and soul and love your neighbor as yourself.” if you do those two things, you’ve got it! paul said, love is the bond of perfection. put on love. he’s not saying, “make up a bunch of rules and restrictions about external behavior, do’s and don’ts: don’t drink, cuss, smoke or chew, or run around with girls that do. don’t do nothing!” he’s not saying that! he’s saying be perfect in love. we are to share GOD’s grace by loving others.
just a thought from the front porch…