Be Perfect ( by Carley Evans )

Jesus says, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48, HCSB)

He starts by acknowledging that the Law of Moses calls for ‘tit for tat’ — or “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” (Matthew 5:38). If someone strikes you, strike him back. If someone sues you, resist him in court. If someone steals from you, demand reparation. If your enemy hates you, hate him back.

But, Jesus turns the Law upside down.

He commands, “Do not resist an evildoer.” (Matthew 5:39)

I’ve read about our right to defend ourselves, how Jesus never means that we can’t take up the sword against our enemies — but I don’t see that here. I hear Jesus say, “Do not resist.” Under force? — submit; being sued?  — settle; hit? — turn the other cheek; robbed? — give.

Why? Here’s the kicker. Jesus reminds us that even “the Gentiles” — i.e. those who do not have the Law of Moses “love those who love [them].” (Matthew 5:46) That’s easy! Anyone can do that! Anyone can greet the one who greets him! But God, our heavenly Father, is perfect. “For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45)

“Therefore,” says Jesus, “be perfect.”

Father God, help us to love our enemies — those we consider ‘unlovable’. Remind us that You love all people, and send Your goodness out to the entire world. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

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9 thoughts on “Be Perfect ( by Carley Evans )

  1. lambskinny says:

    Thanks “eternet elias.” Glad you like my post. God bless.

  2. Debbie says:

    Thank you being a place of grace, Carley!

  3. mtsweat says:

    Perfectly said Carley… I also see no evidence for defending ourselves. Possibly to protect those who cannot defend themselves (children, elderly, widows), but never for personal protection. Or else, Jesus, Paul, and countless others throughout history were in error for allowing the fates that became them. We have record of a time in Jesus’ trial when all He needed do was speak, and the trial would have ended, with Jesus being released. Thank God He remained silent and went to the cross. Paul even went so far as to instruct believers to suffer loss rather than use the court system to protect themselves (bet that one will be explained away by culture) 1 Cor. 6. Thanks and God bless

  4. […] But after opening the link, he concluded, “Nothing here but someone trying to get people to ‘Be Perfect’.” Surely this person wouldn’t steal dad’s wrench, or would she? “Maybe […]

  5. lambskinny says:

    Thanks WritingGomer. God bless.

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