” You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48
The sermon on the mount has some scary things in it, doesn’t it? For example, this week we read that we are to, “be perfect as our heavenly father is perfect.” How are we to take these things? We must remember how Jesus defines perfection in order to understand what he means. Jesus tells us that to love God and love others fulfills all of the law but he didn’t just say that, he lived it. Imagine what it was like for Jesus to become a man and live his life as recorded in the gospels.
The world he created had by and large rejected him. His own people had failed to stay faithful to him for much more than a generation. Jesus steps into history not to a people who wanted loving relationship with him but to a people who wanted political autonomy at his hand. What would that be like? By the end of his life Jesus’ people had rejected him, his disciples had abandoned, denied, even handed him over to be put on trial. No one defended him. He did all this out of love for the very people he came to save. Jesus didn’t just pray for his enemies, he gave his life for them. Jesus didn’t just turn the other cheek to be slapped, he exposed his side to be pierced by a spear. This he did all for love.
Take a moment and picture the person who you struggle with. It could be a personality that rubs you the wrong way, a lifestyle that bothers you, even the evil actions of a person. Now imagine the lengths that Jesus has gone to reach, reform, and restore that person, just like he reaches out to you.
By Aaron Bjorklund