May 3, 2019 by directorfsm
I remember the first time I read this verse and thinking “fat chance of that happening”. I mean seriously does anyone really think we are going to be “PERFECT” this side of glory? So the curious me went investigating and found that the Greek word here taken in context means something way different then when one reads it as a single verse.
Context Matthew 5:43-48 Jesus is speaking about loving our neighbors.
Love Your Enemies
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers,[a] what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Then I came to the word therefore, meaning consequently, because of what you have just heard/read. Oh so I am to be perfect in the Love of my neighbors following the example that God has set before me. He tells us to love them as God loves them without distinction or favoritism. While God does not expect total perfection out of me (1 John 1:9), He does expect me to strive for (sanctification) perfection.